Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta "of the Cross" Brittannica (b. - 330) MP

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Nicknames: "Helena of Constantinople or Helena Augusta", "Helena Auguta /Britannica/", "Of the Cross", "Elaine Britannica", "Sainte Britannica (Colchester) of the Cross", "Helena of the Cross", "Empress Elaine", ""St. Helena of The Cross"", ""of the cross"", "St. Helen", "Elaine of the"
Birthplace: Drepanum, Bithynia, Anatolia or Naissus, the Balkans
Death: Died in or 8/18/330
Occupation: aka Helena BRITANNICA verch COEL; de la CROIX; of COLCHESTER, [Coelinus], Sint Helena is de heilige van het dorp Aalten, gelegen in het oosten van Gelderland.
Managed by: Catherine "Erin" Serafina Liora Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta "of the Cross" Brittannica

Saint Helena (Latin: Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta) also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople (ca. 246/50 – 18 August 330) was probably born in the city of Drepanum in Bithynia. Various sources indicate that Drepanum was renamed Helenopolis by Helena's son Constantinus I to honour and to perpetuate Helena's memory ( e.g. , Sozom., Hist. Eccl. , 2.2.5). Procopius ( Aedif. 5.2.1-5) mentions that Constantine changed the name of Drepanum to Helenopolis because his mother was born there. Her year of birth may be established on Eusebius' remark ( VC. , 3.46) that she died at the age of about eighty years. Since she probably died in 328/9, she must have been born ca. 248/9. Helena was of low social origin. Ambrose ( De obit. Theod. ,42) calls her a stabularia and Eutropius ( Brev. 10.2) mentions that she was born ex obscuriore matrimonio . Philostorgius ( Hist. Eccl. , 2.16) calls her a common woman not different from strumpets' ( cf. also Zos. 2.8.2 and 2.9.2). Constantius I Chlorus and Helena probably met in Drepanum ca. 270. It is very likely that the pair lived in concubinage, an accepted form of cohabitation for people of different social origin. In 272/3 Helena gave birth to Constantine in Naissus. It is not known whether Helena bore any other children besides Constantine . When in 289 Constantius became Caesar and married Theodora , he separated from Helena and Helena's life recedes into obscurity for us.

The gap in our knowledge about Helena's life lasts at least until 306, when the troops in York proclaimed Constantine the successor of his father. It is probable that from this time on Helena joined her son's court. Constantine's foremost residences in the West were Trier and Rome. Ceiling frescoes in the imperial palace in Trier, on which Helena possibly is depicted, as well as a lively medieval Helena tradition in Trier and its surroundings, may be an indication that Helena once lived in this northernmost, imperial residence. After Constantine had defeated Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, Helena probably came to live in Rome. The fundus Laurentus in the south-east corner of Rome, which included the Palatium Sessorianum , a circus and public baths (later called Thermae Helenae ), came into her possession. Several inscriptions ( e.g. ,CIL , 6.1134, 1135, 1136) found in the area, are evidence for a close connection between Helena and the fundus Laurentus . So is her interest in the newly found basilica Ss. Marcellino e Pietro which was built in the area that belonged to the fundus Laurentus (Lib. Pont. , I, 183), as well as the fact that she was buried in a mausoleum attached to this basilica.

Helena must have been a prominent person at the imperial court. Before 324 she held the title of Nobilissma Femina as may be concluded from coins. In 324, after Constantine's defeat of Licinius , Helena received the title of Augusta. The increase of coins - with the legend SECURITAS REIPUBLICE - and inscriptions bearing this title indicate Helena's rise in status and her prominency within the Neo-Flavian dynasty.

Although it has been suggested that from her childhood on Helena had felt great sympathy for Christianity, it is more likely that she only converted after 312 when her son Constantine began to protect and favour the Christian church. Eusebius reports that Helena was converted by Constantine and that he made her a devoted servant of God ( VC , 3.47). That she once was Jewish, as suggested by the Actus Sylvestri and taken seriously by J. Vogt is most unlikely. There are indications - e.g. her sympathy for the martyr Lucian, Arius' teacher - that Helena was favourable towards Arianism.

The most memorable event of Helena's life was her journey to Palestine and the other eastern provinces in 327-328. Because of Eusebius' description of this journey ( VC , 3.42-47), it is generally looked upon as a pilgrimage. Eusebius only has eyes for the religious aspects of her journey. He depicts Helena as driven by religious enthusiasm: she wants to pray at the places where Christ's feet had touched the ground, she cares for the poor and needy, she only does good deeds and is generous, and she builds churches. However, it may also be possible that her journey to the East was a political act of conciliation. People living in the East may have been dissatisfied with Constantine's radical (religious) reforms, which included e.g. the replacement of many officials by Christian dignitaries and the rigorous suppression of pagan cults. Furthermore, Constantine's popularity may have suffered severe damage from murdering his wife Fausta and his son Crispus in 326. A reason why Helena travelled to the East may therefore have been to appease the inhabitants of the eastern regions of the Empire.

Shortly after her journey to the East Helena died in the presence of her son Constantine (Euseb., VC , 3.46). The abrupt interruption in the issue of Helena Augusta-coins in the spring of 329 suggests that she died either at the end of 328 or the beginning of 329. She was buried in Rome in the mausoleum near the Ss. Marcellino e Pietro at the Via Labicana. The porphyry sarcophagus, which contained her remains, is now in the Vatican Museum.

Her greatest fame Helena acquired by an act for which she was probably not responsible, i.e. the finding of the True Cross. Her presence in Jerusalem and the description Eusebius presented of her stay in the Holy Land led ultimately to connecting Helena with the discovery of the Cross. Remains of the Cross were already venerated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem at the end of the 340s as is clear from sermons of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem ( Cat. 4.10, 10.19, 13.4 PG 33, 467ff, 685-687, 777). After 7 May 351, Cyril wrote the Emperor Constantius II that the Cross was discovered during the reign of Constantine I; the bishop gives no indication who discovered the rel ic ( Ep. ad Const. , 3 PG 33, 1168B). The Emperor Julian believed in the discovery of the relic; he rebukes Christians for worshipping the object ( Contra Gal. 194C). The legend of Helena's discovery of the Cross originated in Jerusal em in the second half of the fourth century and rapidly spread over the whole empire. Three versions of the legend came into existence in Late Antiquity: the Helena legend, the Protonike legend and the Judas Kyriakos legend. The Helena legend, which was known in Greek and Latin, is found in: Rufinus ( Hist. Eccl. , 10.7-8), Socrates ( Hist. Eccl. 1.17 PG 67, 117ff), Sozomen ( Hist., Eccl. 2.1-2) Theodoretus ( Hist. Eccl. . 1.18), Ambrose ( De obitu Theod. , 40-49), Paulinus of Nola ( Epist. , 31.4-5), and Sulpicius Severus ( Chron. 2.22-34). The Protonike legend was only known in Syriac (and later on in Armenian) and was part of the Edessene Doctrina Addai but also circulated independently in the Syriac-speaking regions. In this version of the legend Helena's role is taken over by the fictitious first-century empress Protonike. The Judas Kyriakos legend originated in Greek, but became also known in Latin and Syriac and later on in many vernacular languages. This version relates how Helena discovered the Cross with the help of the Jew Judas, who later converted and received the name Kyriakos. It became the most popular version of the three, probably because of its anti-Judaism.

Because of her alleged discovery of the Cross Helena became a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church. Her feast day in the eastern church is 21 May and in the western church 18 August.

Bibliography

Barnes, T.D. Constantine and Eusebius . Cambridge, 1980.

Borgehammer, S. How the Holy Cross was Found: From Event to Medieval Legend . Stockholm, 1991.

Brubaker, Leslie. "Memories of Helena: Patterns in Imperial Female Matronage in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries", in: Liz James (ed.), W omen, Men and Eunuchs. Gender in Byzantium , London/New York 1997, pp. 52-75.

Bruun, Patrick. Roman Imperial Coinage 7: Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313-337 . London, 1966.

Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire romain . Paris, 1880-1892.

Couzard, R. Sainte Hélène d'après l'histoire et la tradition. Paris, 1911.

Deichmanm, F.W. and A. Tschira. "Das Mausoleum der Kaiserin Helena und die Basilika der heiligen Marcellinus und Petrus an der Via Labicana vor Rom." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts. 72(1957): 44ff.

Drijvers Han J.W., and Jan Willem Drijvers, T he Finding of the True Cross. The Judas Kyriakos Legend in Syriac. Introduction Text and Translation , CSCO 565, Subs. 93, Louvain 1997.

Drijvers, Jan Willem. Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and her Finding of the True Cross. Leiden, 1992.

________. "Helena Augusta: Exemplary Christian Empress." Studia Patristica . 25(1993): 85ff.

Frolow, A. La Relique de la Vraie Croix: Recherches sur le développement d'un culte . Paris, 1961.

Heid, S. "Der Ursprung der Helenslegende im Pilgerbetrieb Jerusalems." Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 32(1989): 41ff.

Heinen, H. "Helena, Konstantin und die Überlieferung der Kreuzauffindung im 4. Jahrhundert." In E. Aretz et al .Der Heilige Rock zu Trier: Studien zur Geschichte und Verehrung der Tunika Christi. Trier, 1995, 83ff.

________. Früchristliches Trier: Von den Anfängen bis zur Völkerwanderung . Trier, 1996.

Hunt, E.D. Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire AD 312-460 . Oxford, 1982.

Kienast, Dietmar. Römische Kaisertabelle: Grundzüge einer römischen Kaiserchronologie . Darmstadt, 1996.(rev. ed.)

Klein, R. "Helena." Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum . 14(1987): 355ff.

Jones, A.H.M., J.R. Martindale, and J. Morris. "Fl. Iulia Helena 3," the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire . Cambridge, 1971, 1.410ff.

Maurice, J. Numismatique Constantienne. 3 vols., Paris, 1908-1912.

________. Sainte Hélène: L'Art et les Saints . Paris, 1930.

L'Orange, H.P. Das spätantike Herrscherbild von Diokletian bis zu den Konstantin-Söhnen 284-361 n. Chr. , mit einem Nachtrag von Max Wegner, Die Bildnisse der Frauen und des Julian . Berlin 1984.

Pohlsander, Hans A. Helena: Empress and Saint . Chicago, 1996.

.

Rouillon, A.-M. Sainte Hélène . Paris, 1908.

Seeck, O. "Helena (2)." RE 7: col. 2820ff.

Simon, E. Die Konstantinische Deckengemälde in Trier, Trierer Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 3 . Mainz, 1986.

Straubinger, J. Die Kreuzauffindungslegende: Untersuchungen über ihre altchristlichen Fassungen mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der syrischen Texte . Paderborn, 1912.

Vogt, J. "Helena Augusta, das Kreuz und die Juden: Fragen um die Mutter Constantins des Grossen." Saeculum. Jahrbuch für Universalgeschichte . 27(1976): 211ff.

Weber, W. Constantinische Deckengemälde aus dem römischen Palast unter dem Dom . Bischöfliches Museum Trier, Museumführer Nr.1, Trier, 1984.

http://www.roman-emperors.org/helena.htm

Spouses

1Constantius Flavius Valerius Emperor of Rome

Birth31 Mar 242, Britian

Death25 Jul 306, Eboracum (York), Britain

FatherEutropius

MotherClaudia Crispina

ChildrenConstantine the Great (272-337)

Constantina

--------------------

Saint Helena (Latin: Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta) also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople (c. 250 – c. 330) was the consort of Emperor Constantius Chlorus, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I.

She is traditionally credited with the finding of the relics of the True Cross.

Helena's birthplace is not known with certainty. The sixth-century historian Procopius is the earliest authority for the statement that Helena was a native of Drepanum, in the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor.

Her son Constantine renamed the city "Helenopolis" after her death in 328, giving rise to the belief that the city was her birthplace. Although he might have done so in honor of her birthplace, Constantine probably had other reasons for doing so.

The bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea states that she was about 80 on her return from Palestine] Since that journey has been dated to 326–28, Helena was probably born in 248 or 250.

Little is known of her early life. Fourth-century sources, following Eutropius' "Breviarium," record that she came from a low background. Saint Ambrose was the first to call her a stabularia, a term translated as "stable-maid" or "inn-keeper". He makes this fact a virtue, calling Helena a bona stabularia, a "good stable-maid". Other sources, especially those written after Constantine's proclamation as emperor, gloss over or ignore her background.


The precise legal nature of the relationship between Helena and Constantius is unknown: the sources are equivocal on the point, sometimes calling Helena Constantius' "wife," and sometimes calling her his "concubine."

Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I in 272. In 293, Constantius was ordered by emperor Diocletian to divorce her in order to qualify as Caesar of the Western Roman Empire, and he was married to the stepdaughter of Maximian, Theodora. Helena never remarried and lived in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her.

Constantine was proclaimed Augustus of the Roman Empire in 306 by Constantius' troops after the latter had died, and following his elevation his mother was brought back to the public life and the imperial court, and received the title of Augusta in 325.

Helena died in 330 with her son at her side. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementino Vatican Museum. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshippers in modest attire, exhibiting a true Christian spirit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_of_Constantinople

--------------------

Helena Britannica ferch Princess of Britain

Born : Abt. 250

Died : Abt. 330

Age : 80

Marriage - CONSTANTIUS I Chlorus Emperor of the West

Children 27 Feb 272 - Constantine I the Great Emperor of Rome

Forrás / Source:

http://www.american-pictures.com/genealogy/persons/per02550.htm#0

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_of_Constantinople -------------------- When Constantius was named caesar, or successor to the throne of the Roman Empire, in 293, he divorced her because of her nonpatrician origin. She devoted the rest of her life to religious pilgrimages, visiting Jerusalem about 325 and founding there the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of the Nativity. According to some legends, she was the discoverer of the True Cross in Palestine. Her feast day is August 18. -------------------- Flavia Iulia Helena was probably born in the city of Drepanum in Bithynia. Various sources indicate that Drepanum was renamed Helenopolis by Helena's son Constantinus I to honour and to perpetuate Helena's memory ( e.g. , Sozom., Hist. Eccl. , 2.2.5). Procopius ( Aedif. 5.2.1-5) mentions that Constantine changed the name of Drepanum to Helenopolis because his mother was born there. Her year of birth may be established on Eusebius' remark ( VC. , 3.46) that she died at the age of about eighty years. Since she probably died in 328/9, she must have been born ca. 248/9. Helena was of low social origin. Ambrose ( De obit. Theod. ,42) calls her a stabularia and Eutropius ( Brev. 10.2) mentions that she was born ex obscuriore matrimonio . Philostorgius ( Hist. Eccl. , 2.16) calls her a common woman not different from strumpets' ( cf. also Zos. 2.8.2 and 2.9.2). Constantius I Chlorus and Helena probably met in Drepanum ca. 270. It is very likely that the pair lived in concubinage, an accepted form of cohabitation for people of different social origin. In 272/3 Helena gave birth to Constantine in Naissus. It is not known whether Helena bore any other children besides Constantine . When in 289 Constantius became Caesar and married Theodora , he separated from Helena and Helena's life recedes into obscurity for us.

The gap in our knowledge about Helena's life lasts at least until 306, when the troops in York proclaimed Constantine the successor of his father. It is probable that from this time on Helena joined her son's court. Constantine's foremost residences in the West were Trier and Rome. Ceiling frescoes in the imperial palace in Trier, on which Helena possibly is depicted, as well as a lively medieval Helena tradition in Trier and its surroundings, may be an indication that Helena once lived in this northernmost, imperial residence. After Constantine had defeated Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, Helena probably came to live in Rome. The fundus Laurentus in the south-east corner of Rome, which included the Palatium Sessorianum , a circus and public baths (later called Thermae Helenae ), came into her possession. Several inscriptions ( e.g. ,CIL , 6.1134, 1135, 1136) found in the area, are evidence for a close connection between Helena and the fundus Laurentus . So is her interest in the newly found basilica Ss. Marcellino e Pietro which was built in the area that belonged to the fundus Laurentus (Lib. Pont. , I, 183), as well as the fact that she was buried in a mausoleum attached to this basilica.

Helena must have been a prominent person at the imperial court. Before 324 she held the title of Nobilissma Femina as may be concluded from coins. In 324, after Constantine's defeat of Licinius , Helena received the title of Augusta. The increase of coins - with the legend SECURITAS REIPUBLICE - and inscriptions bearing this title indicate Helena's rise in status and her prominency within the Neo-Flavian dynasty.

Although it has been suggested that from her childhood on Helena had felt great sympathy for Christianity, it is more likely that she only converted after 312 when her son Constantine began to protect and favour the Christian church. Eusebius reports that Helena was converted by Constantine and that he made her a devoted servant of God ( VC , 3.47). That she once was Jewish, as suggested by the Actus Sylvestri and taken seriously by J. Vogt is most unlikely. There are indications - e.g. her sympathy for the martyr Lucian, Arius' teacher - that Helena was favourable towards Arianism.

The most memorable event of Helena's life was her journey to Palestine and the other eastern provinces in 327-328. Because of Eusebius' description of this journey ( VC , 3.42-47), it is generally looked upon as a pilgrimage. Eusebius only has eyes for the religious aspects of her journey. He depicts Helena as driven by religious enthusiasm: she wants to pray at the places where Christ's feet had touched the ground, she cares for the poor and needy, she only does good deeds and is generous, and she builds churches. However, it may also be possible that her journey to the East was a political act of conciliation. People living in the East may have been dissatisfied with Constantine's radical (religious) reforms, which included e.g. the replacement of many officials by Christian dignitaries and the rigorous suppression of pagan cults. Furthermore, Constantine's popularity may have suffered severe damage from murdering his wife Fausta and his son Crispus in 326. A reason why Helena travelled to the East may therefore have been to appease the inhabitants of the eastern regions of the Empire.

Shortly after her journey to the East Helena died in the presence of her son Constantine (Euseb., VC , 3.46). The abrupt interruption in the issue of Helena Augusta-coins in the spring of 329 suggests that she died either at the end of 328 or the beginning of 329. She was buried in Rome in the mausoleum near the Ss. Marcellino e Pietro at the Via Labicana. The porphyry sarcophagus, which contained her remains, is now in the Vatican Museum.

Her greatest fame Helena acquired by an act for which she was probably not responsible, i.e. the finding of the True Cross. Her presence in Jerusalem and the description Eusebius presented of her stay in the Holy Land led ultimately to connecting Helena with the discovery of the Cross. Remains of the Cross were already venerated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem at the end of the 340s as is clear from sermons of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem ( Cat. 4.10, 10.19, 13.4 PG 33, 467ff, 685-687, 777). After 7 May 351, Cyril wrote the Emperor Constantius II that the Cross was discovered during the reign of Constantine I; the bishop gives no indication who discovered the rel ic ( Ep. ad Const. , 3 PG 33, 1168B). The Emperor Julian believed in the discovery of the relic; he rebukes Christians for worshipping the object ( Contra Gal. 194C). The legend of Helena's discovery of the Cross originated in Jerusal em in the second half of the fourth century and rapidly spread over the whole empire. Three versions of the legend came into existence in Late Antiquity: the Helena legend, the Protonike legend and the Judas Kyriakos legend. The Helena legend, which was known in Greek and Latin, is found in: Rufinus ( Hist. Eccl. , 10.7-8), Socrates ( Hist. Eccl. 1.17 PG 67, 117ff), Sozomen ( Hist., Eccl. 2.1-2) Theodoretus ( Hist. Eccl. . 1.18), Ambrose ( De obitu Theod. , 40-49), Paulinus of Nola ( Epist. , 31.4-5), and Sulpicius Severus ( Chron. 2.22-34). The Protonike legend was only known in Syriac (and later on in Armenian) and was part of the Edessene Doctrina Addai but also circulated independently in the Syriac-speaking regions. In this version of the legend Helena's role is taken over by the fictitious first-century empress Protonike. The Judas Kyriakos legend originated in Greek, but became also known in Latin and Syriac and later on in many vernacular languages. This version relates how Helena discovered the Cross with the help of the Jew Judas, who later converted and received the name Kyriakos. It became the most popular version of the three, probably because of its anti-Judaism.

Because of her alleged discovery of the Cross Helena became a saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church. Her feast day in the eastern church is 21 May and in the western church 18 August.

Bibliography

Barnes, T.D. Constantine and Eusebius . Cambridge, 1980.

Borgehammer, S. How the Holy Cross was Found: From Event to Medieval Legend . Stockholm, 1991.

Brubaker, Leslie. "Memories of Helena: Patterns in Imperial Female Matronage in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries", in: Liz James (ed.), W omen, Men and Eunuchs. Gender in Byzantium , London/New York 1997, pp. 52-75.

Bruun, Patrick. Roman Imperial Coinage 7: Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313-337 . London, 1966.

Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire romain . Paris, 1880-1892.

Couzard, R. Sainte Hélène d'après l'histoire et la tradition. Paris, 1911.

Deichmanm, F.W. and A. Tschira. "Das Mausoleum der Kaiserin Helena und die Basilika der heiligen Marcellinus und Petrus an der Via Labicana vor Rom." Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts. 72(1957): 44ff.

Drijvers Han J.W., and Jan Willem Drijvers, T he Finding of the True Cross. The Judas Kyriakos Legend in Syriac. Introduction Text and Translation , CSCO 565, Subs. 93, Louvain 1997.

Drijvers, Jan Willem. Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and her Finding of the True Cross. Leiden, 1992.

________. "Helena Augusta: Exemplary Christian Empress." Studia Patristica . 25(1993): 85ff.

Frolow, A. La Relique de la Vraie Croix: Recherches sur le développement d'un culte . Paris, 1961.

Heid, S. "Der Ursprung der Helenslegende im Pilgerbetrieb Jerusalems." Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 32(1989): 41ff.

Heinen, H. "Helena, Konstantin und die Überlieferung der Kreuzauffindung im 4. Jahrhundert." In E. Aretz et al .Der Heilige Rock zu Trier: Studien zur Geschichte und Verehrung der Tunika Christi. Trier, 1995, 83ff.

________. Früchristliches Trier: Von den Anfängen bis zur Völkerwanderung . Trier, 1996.

Hunt, E.D. Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire AD 312-460 . Oxford, 1982.

Kienast, Dietmar. Römische Kaisertabelle: Grundzüge einer römischen Kaiserchronologie . Darmstadt, 1996.(rev. ed.)

Klein, R. "Helena." Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum . 14(1987): 355ff.

Jones, A.H.M., J.R. Martindale, and J. Morris. "Fl. Iulia Helena 3," the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire . Cambridge, 1971, 1.410ff.

Maurice, J. Numismatique Constantienne. 3 vols., Paris, 1908-1912.

________. Sainte Hélène: L'Art et les Saints . Paris, 1930.

L'Orange, H.P. Das spätantike Herrscherbild von Diokletian bis zu den Konstantin-Söhnen 284-361 n. Chr. , mit einem Nachtrag von Max Wegner, Die Bildnisse der Frauen und des Julian . Berlin 1984.

Pohlsander, Hans A. Helena: Empress and Saint . Chicago, 1996.

.

Rouillon, A.-M. Sainte Hélène . Paris, 1908.

Seeck, O. "Helena (2)." RE 7: col. 2820ff.

Simon, E. Die Konstantinische Deckengemälde in Trier, Trierer Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 3 . Mainz, 1986.

Straubinger, J. Die Kreuzauffindungslegende: Untersuchungen über ihre altchristlichen Fassungen mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der syrischen Texte . Paderborn, 1912.

Vogt, J. "Helena Augusta, das Kreuz und die Juden: Fragen um die Mutter Constantins des Grossen." Saeculum. Jahrbuch für Universalgeschichte . 27(1976): 211ff.

Weber, W. Constantinische Deckengemälde aus dem römischen Palast unter dem Dom . Bischöfliches Museum Trier, Museumführer Nr.1, Trier, 1984.

http://www.roman-emperors.org/helena.htm -------------------- Reference: http://awt.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=AHN&db=rwfurtaw&id=I10029&ti=5538 -------------------- ID: I69111

Name: Helen of the Cross

Suffix: Empress of Rome

Title: Empress of Rome

Sex: F

Birth: in ,Britain

Death: in ,Constantinople

Note:

Source: Kraentzler 1795.

K: Helen "of the Cross," Empress Auguste of Rome. Founded the Cathedral at

Treves. Second wife.

Change Date: 12 JUL 2000 at 21:33:18 -------------------- http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pmcbride/james/f003.htm#T12

42. Helen (Helena) of the Cross, called also "Britannica", born in 248, died in 328. The arms of Colchester were "a cross with three crowns." She was the first wife of Constantius I. Chlorus (Falvius Valerius Constantius), governor of Dalmatia, appointed Caesar to rule Gaul and Britain March 1, 293. He was the son of Eutropious, a Dardanian nobleman descended from the Gordiani, and his wife, Claudia, daughter of Claudius II. (Marcus Aurelius Flavius Claudius Gothicus), a virtuous and worthy Roman Emperor (268-270), who was a soldier, statesman, and a distinguished officer. Born in Illyria 214, he was trained in the hard school of warfare on the Danube frontier, and died of the Plague in 270, aged 55, whereupon his brother Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus became Emperor. Constantius I became Emperor of Rome in May 305, and in right of his wife, King of England. He was born in 242 and died at Eboracum (present day York, England) on July 25, 306. He married (2) Theodora, daughter of Maximinus, Roman Emperor. The son of Helen and Constantius I. was Constantine the Great -------------------- The story of Saint Helena is one of the most famous classic Cinderella tales of all time in many countries and cultures. She is one of the most honored of the saints in the Eastern or Greek Orthodox Church. Strangely, her story is not a very well known one outside the Orthodox Church in the United States, even amongst the Roman Catholic community to which she is also a symbol of goodness and piety. It is one of those strange paradoxes of literature that the fairy tale is passed along by parents to their children from generation to generation while some of the stories of real people are all but forgotten.

Helena was born and grew up in the Roman province of Illyricum (modern Bosnia, Serbia, and Herzegovina) in the mid Third Century. Not much is known about her family, but they were probably quite poor because she found it necessary to work in a tavern as a servant girl, an occupation no daughter of a wealthy man would choose. In fact the status of STABVLARIA, or tavern girls were little better than prostitutes in the Roman world.

In her line of work, Helena was bound to gain the attention of men. These were often soldiers in the Roman army serving on the frontiers far from their homes. These soldiers who spent their lives guarding Rome's frontiers often took a local wife or mistress to ease the loneliness and discomfort of an army camp far from the civilized world they knew. Such was the case with Helena. A handsome but pale skinned Roman general had soon fallen deeply in love with the young Helena and took her as his mistress. This was Constantius Chlorus. who was later to become the emperor Constantius I. Our pale soldier might have married his local girl, but there was always the chance that he might be stationed back in the civilized world someday and be married into a family with influence and power. During ancient times, love was not considered an important reason to marry. Allying oneself with the proper family and making the right political connections were much more important reasons.

Like many frontier army families had done in the past, Constantius and Helena settled down to a life together on the edge of the empire. Before too long, their union produced a son, who was named Constantine. We might never have heard of this little family except for an event which now came to pass that brought sadness into the couple's life but ensured a prominent place in the history books for all three members.

The Roman emperor at that time was Diocletian, who had come to the throne in A. D. 284 after a fifty year period during which the man who was emperor seemed to receive the kiss of death as soon as he ascended the throne. Wars against external enemies, rebels at home, and the disconcerting tendency for the Praetorian Guard to choose a favorite, put him on the throne, and then murder him after a short reign had made it clear that some changes were needed in the government. Diocletian came up with an idea that made the job of emperor a much safer one and greatly strengthened the Roman Empire during this period of crisis. He would share the government of the Roman Empire with another man, an imperial colleague. The colleague would set up his court in a distant city, which made it hard to murder both emperors at the same time. Furthermore, the colleague would be bound to the senior augustus by family, friendship, and political ties that would hopefully ensure that he would not turn and become a rebel. For the post of imperial colleague in the West, Diocletian now chose Maximianus, who became the Roman emperor in the West in April, A. D. 286. Diocletian would continue to rule in the East. In 293, Diocletian chose a caesar who would succeed him on the throne. Maximianus was told to do the same and chose the successful and loyal general Constantius Chlorus to be his caesar.

As part of the process of building an unbreakable bond between the two augusti, and their two caesars, Maximian ordered Constantius to forsake Helena and take his own step - daughter Theodora as his wife. The boy Constantine was sent away to be raised in the household of Galerius, who was Diocletian's caesar.

Diocletian's plan was for the two augusti to rule for twenty years and then abdicate. The two caesars would then be promoted to augusti and would presumably have the experience to govern well. In this way the succession was not left up to chance and the new emperors would be prepared to rule. In A. D. 305, Diocletian willingly and Maximianus reluctantly gave up their thrones and passed along the leadership of empire in front of their troops.

Meanwhile, the seeds of jealousy which would tear this very sensible system apart had been sown. Constantine had become a popular general in his own right and Constantius immediately invited his son to join him in Britain. Galerius really did not want the young man to leave, considering hi almost a hostage to ensure that his father did not make any moves against Galerius. He grudgingly gave permission for Constantine to leave. Constantine left in the middle of the night before he was expected to and made a wild ride towards the coast of Gaul where his father was about to set sail for Britain. Constantine arrived just in time to catch the fleet before it left. Father and son were now joyously reunited after thirteen years. It appears that no one remembered the woman, Constantine's mother, that Constantius had loved so deeply twenty years ago.

The happy reunion of father and son was to be a very brief one. In 306, Constantius became sick and died at York, probably within shouting distance of the place where another emperor, Septimius Severus, had died almost two hundred years before. By one of those amazing coincidences of history, both emperors had died after having returned from a military campaign against the Picts in the north of Britain, a land that would later be called Scotland.

It was now after all these years that her son could now elevate Helena to the position of respect and honor that her husband was unable or unwilling to do. In an age when royal titles were multiplying and becoming ever more grandiose sounding, Constantine reverently bestowed upon his mother the title of NOBILISSIMA FEMINA, meaning "Most Honored and Noble Lady." Evidence of being accorded this title is symbolized on coins of the period by the adding of the letters NF in the obverse legend after the noblewoman's name. This title is also the one chosen for the introduction to the section on Roman women in this author's present work. As time went on, the Role of Helena grew to where she held a position of power and influence in Constantine's government. By providing her son with wise counsel, she became as much the powerful woman behind the throne that Livia, Julia Domna, and Julia Maesa had been in previous ages.

The events of Helena's later life contain the elements of legend which have given her such a prominent place in Roman Catholic Church tradition. In A. D. 326, work was officially begun on the transformation of the small and ancient Greek town of Byzantium into the New Rome of Constantine's ambitious dreams. This city was to be named Constantinople and was a capital of Christianity and the Roman East until A. D. 1453. Helena was by now an old woman of eighty but she found the energy to embark on a lengthy pilgrimage to the holy places of Christianity. All along the path of her journey, the people venerated and expressed their love for their empress. Helena performed acts of charity, endowed churches, and collected holy relics in her travels. When she passed through a place, prisoners were granted a pardon.

The climax of Helena's storybook life was her discovery of the True Cross, which she duly brought back to be given a place of reverence in Constantine's new city. With a true flair for the dramatic, the bishop at Jerusalem unearthed a three - hundred year old cross from the earth of Calvary that had mysteriously never seen the ravages of time, soil, and wood - boring insects. While this relic may have been planted in an ingenious plot by the bishop to create an ancient artifact, a holy relic, and a miracle before the eyes of the eighty - year old empress, let us not allow the intrusion of archaeological facts ruin the impact of a good story. Regardless of the genuineness of the cross that had been discovered, these events helped to create a popular Church legend and secure a permanent place in history for this remarkable woman.

-------------------- D: Bet. 328-336 -------------------- She was buried in Rome in the mausoleum near the Ss. Marcellino e Pietro at the Via Labicana. The porphyry sarcophagus, which contained her remains, is now in the Vatican Museum. --------------------

•ID: I136819 

•Name: HELENA "SAINT"(NOTE) OF THE CROSS (L) COLCHESTER 1 2 3 4 5

•Sex: F

•ALIA: HELEN (NOTES) OF THE CROSS (L) /DE COLCHESTER/

•Name: AKA ST. HELEN FLAVIA ELEN LUYDDOG VERCH (L) COEL

•Birth: BET 248 AND 273 in Colchester, Britain or Drepanum, Bithynia, Asia Minor 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

•Death: BET 328 AND 337 in Constantinople 21 22 4 5

•Event: 1 AKA ST. HELEN FLAVIA JULIA HELENA ELEN LYYDDOG (NOTES) VERCH (L) COEL

•Event: 2 AKA HELENA (NOTES) OF THE (L) CROSS

•Event: 3 AKA HELEN (NOTES) OF (L) BRITAIN

•Event: 4 AKA HELENA"(NOTE) CHLORUS OF (L) CAMULOD

•Burial: the mausoleum near Ss. Marcellino e Pietro at the Via Labicana, Rome, Italy 20

•Note:

[balbajdp-fam.ged]

Flavia Iulia Helena was probably born in the city of Drepanum in Bithyn ia. Various sources indicate that Drepanum was renamed Helenopolis by H elena's son Constantinus I to honour and to perpetuate Helena's memory ( e.g., Sozom., Hist. Eccl., 2.2.5). Procopius (Aedif. 5.2.1-5) mentions t hat Constantine changed the name of Drepanum to Helenopolis because his m other was born there. Her year of birth may be established on Eusebius' r emark (VC., 3.46) that she died at the age of about eighty years. Since s he probably died in 328/9, she must have been born ca. 248/9. Helena wa s of low social origin. Ambrose (De obit. Theod.,42) calls her a stabul aria and Eutropius (Brev. 10.2) mentions that she was born ex obscurior e matrimonio. Philostorgius (Hist. Eccl., 2.16) calls her a common wom an not different from strumpets' (cf. also Zos. 2.8.2 and 2.9.2). Const antius I Chlorus and Helena probably met in Drepanum ca. 270. It is ver y likely that the pair lived in concubinage, an accepted form of cohabi tation for people of different social origin. In 272/3 Helena gave birt h to Constantine in Naissus. It is not known whether Helena bore any ot her children besides Constantine. When in 289 Constantius became Caesar a nd married Theodora, he separated from Helena and Helena's life recedes i nto obscurity for us.

The gap in our knowledge about Helena's life lasts at least until 306, w hen the troops in York proclaimed Constantine the successor of his fath er. It is probable that from this time on Helena joined her son's court . Constantine's foremost residences in the West were Trier and Rome. Ce iling frescoes in the imperial palace in Trier, on which Helena possibl y is depicted, as well as a lively medieval Helena tradition in Trier a nd its surroundings, may be an indication that Helena once lived in thi s northernmost, imperial residence. After Constantine had defeated Maxe ntius at the Milvian Bridge, Helena probably came to live in Rome. The f undus Laurentus in the south-east corner of Rome, which included the Pa latium Sessorianum, a circus and public baths (later called Thermae Hel enae), came into her possession. Several inscriptions (e.g., CIL, 6.113 4, 1135, 1136) found in the area, are evidence for a close connection b etween Helena and the fundus Laurentus. So is her interest in the newly f ound basilica Ss. Marcellino e Pietro which was built in the area that b elonged to the fundus Laurentus (Lib. Pont., I, 183), as well as the fa ct that she was buried in a mausoleum attached to this basilica.

Helena must have been a prominent person at the imperial court. Before 3 24 she held the title of Nobilissma Femina as may be concluded from coi ns. In 324, after Constantine's defeat of Licinius, Helena received the t itle of Augusta. The increase of coins - with the legend SECURITAS REIP UBLICE - and inscriptions bearing this title indicate Helena's rise in s tatus and her prominency within the Neo-Flavian dynasty.

Although it has been suggested that from her childhood on Helena had fe lt great sympathy for Christianity, it is more likely that she only con verted after 312 when her son Constantine began to protect and favour t he Christian church. Eusebius reports that Helena was converted by Cons tantine and that he made her a devoted servant of God (VC, 3.47). That s he once was Jewish, as suggested by the Actus Sylvestri and taken serio usly by J. Vogt is most unlikely. There are indications - e.g. her symp athy for the martyr Lucian, Arius' teacher - that Helena was favourable t owards Arianism.

The most memorable event of Helena's life was her journey to Palestine a nd the other eastern provinces in 327-328. Because of Eusebius' descrip tion of this journey (VC, 3.42-47), it is generally looked upon as a pi lgrimage. Eusebius only has eyes for the religious aspects of her journ ey. He depicts Helena as driven by religious enthusiasm: she wants to p ray at the places where Christ's feet had touched the ground, she cares f or the poor and needy, she only does good deeds and is generous, and sh e builds churches. However, it may also be possible that her journey to t he East was a political act of conciliation. People living in the East m ay have been dissatisfied with Constantine's radical (religious) reform s, which included e.g. the replacement of many officials by Christian d ignitaries and the rigorous suppression of pagan cults. Furthermore, Co nstantine's popularity may have suffered severe damage from murdering h is wife Fausta and his son Crispus in 326. A reason why Helena travelle d to the East may therefore have been to appease the inhabitants of the e astern regions of the Empire.

Shortly after her journey to the East Helena died in the presence of he r son Constantine (Euseb., VC, 3.46). The abrupt interruption in the is sue of Helena Augusta-coins in the spring of 329 suggests that she died e ither at the end of 328 or the beginning of 329. She was buried in Rome i n the mausoleum near the Ss. Marcellino e Pietro at the Via Labicana. T he porphyry sarcophagus, which contained her remains, is now in the Vat ican Museum.

Her greatest fame Helena acquired by an act for which she was probably n ot responsible, i.e. the finding of the True Cross. Her presence in Jer usalem and the description Eusebius presented of her stay in the Holy L and led ultimately to connecting Helena with the discovery of the Cross . Remains of the Cross were already venerated in the Church of the Holy S epulchre in Jerusalem at the end of the 340s as is clear from sermons o f Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem (Cat. 4.10, 10.19, 13.4 PG 33, 467ff, 685- 687, 777). After 7 May 351, Cyril wrote the Emperor Constantius II that t he Cross was discovered during the reign of Constantine I; the bishop g ives no indication who discovered the rel ic (Ep. ad Const., 3 PG 33, 1 168B). The Emperor Julian believed in the discovery of the relic; he re bukes Christians for worshipping the object (Contra Gal. 194C). The leg end of Helena's discovery of the Cross originated in Jerusal em in the s econd half of the fourth century and rapidly spread over the whole empi re. Three versions of the legend came into existence in Late Antiquity: t he Helena legend, the Protonike legend and the Judas Kyriakos legend. T he Helena legend, which was known in Greek and Latin, is found in: Rufi nus (Hist. Eccl., 10.7-8), Socrates (Hist. Eccl. 1.17 PG 67, 117ff), So zomen (Hist., Eccl. 2.1-2) Theodoretus (Hist. Eccl.. 1.18), Ambrose (De o bitu Theod., 40-49), Paulinus of Nola (Epist., 31.4-5), and Sulpicius S everus (Chron. 2.22-34). The Protonike legend was only known in Syriac ( and later on in Armenian) and was part of the Edessene Doctrina Addai b ut also circulated independently in the Syriac-speaking regions. In thi s version of the legend Helena's role is taken over by the fictitious f irst-century empress Protonike. The Judas Kyriakos legend originated in G reek, but became also known in Latin and Syriac and later on in many ve rnacular languages. This version relates how Helena discovered the Cros s with the help of the Jew Judas, who later converted and received the n ame Kyriakos. It became the most popular version of the three, probably b ecause of its anti-Judaism.

Because of her alleged discovery of the Cross Helena became a saint in t he Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church. Her feast day in the eas tern church is 21 May and in the western church 18 August.

[COLCHESTER2657897.ged]

Helen (Helena) of the Cross, called also "Britannica", born in 248, died

in 328. The arms of Colchester

were "a cross with three crowns."

She was the first wife of Constantius I. Chlorus (Falvius Valerius

Constantius), governor of Dalmatia, appointed Caesar to rule Gaul and

Britain March 1, 293. He was the son of Eutropious, a Dardanian nobleman

descended from the Gordiani, and his wife, Claudia, daughter of Claudius

II. (Marcus Aurelius Flavius Claudius Gothicus), a virtuous and worthy

Roman Emperor (268-270), who was a soldier, statesman, and a

distinguished officer. Born in Illyria 214, he was trained in the hard

school of warfare on the Danube frontier, and died of the Plague in 270,

aged 55, whereupon his brother Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus became

Emperor.

Constantius I became Emperor of Rome in May 305, and in right of his

wife, King of England. He was born in 242 and died at Eboracum (present

day York, England) on July 25, 306. He married (2) Theodora, daughter of

Maximinus, Roman Emperor. The son of Helen and Constantius I. was

Constantine the Great.

Father: COLIUS II (NOTES) "OLD KING COLE" (L) COLCHESTER b: BET 202 AND 232 in WALES

Mother: STRADA YSTRADWEL (NOTES) VERCH (L) CADFAN b: BET 200 AND 257 in Of, Rheged OR WALES

Marriage 1 CONSTANTIUS I (NOTES) EMPEROR (L) ROMAN EMPIRE b: BET 230 AND 31 MAR 250

Children

1. CONSTANTINE I (NOTES) 2ND EMP (L) ROMAN EMPIRE b: BET 17 FEB 265 AND 27 FEB 288

2. (NOTES) (L) CONSTANTINA b: BET 270 AND 280

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=pusch&id=I136819 -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_of_Constantinople -------------------- Saint Helena (Latin: Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta) also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople (ca. 246/50 – 18 August 330) was the consort of Emperor Constantius, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I. She is traditionally credited with finding the relics of the True Cross.

Helena's birthplace is not known with certainty. The sixth-century historian Procopius is the earliest authority for the statement that Helena was a native of Drepanum, in the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Her son Constantine renamed the city "Helenopolis" after her death in 328, giving rise to the belief that the city was her birthplace. Although he might have done so in honor of her birthplace, Constantine probably had other reasons for doing so. The Byzantinist Cyril Mango has argued that Helenopolis was refounded to strengthen the communication network around his new capital in Constantinople, and was renamed to honor Helena, not to mark her birthplace. There is another Helenopolis, in Palestine, but its exact location is unknown. This city, and the province of Helenopontus in the Diocese of Pontus, were probably both named after Constantine's mother.

The bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea states that she was about 80 on her return from Palestine. Since that journey has been dated to 326–28, Helena was probably born in 248 or 250. Little is known of her early life. Fourth-century sources, following Eutropius' "Breviarium," record that she came from a low background. Saint Ambrose was the first to call her a stabularia, a term translated as "stable-maid" or "inn-keeper". He makes this fact a virtue, calling Helena a bona stabularia, a "good stable-maid." Other sources, especially those written after Constantine's proclamation as emperor, gloss over or ignore her background.

It is unknown where she first met Constantius. The historian Timothy Barnes has suggested that Constantius, while serving under Emperor Aurelian, could have met her while stationed in Asia Minor for the campaign against Zenobia. Barnes calls attention to an epitaph at Nicomedia of one of Aurelian's protectors, which could indicate the emperor's presence in the Bithynian region soon after 270. The precise legal nature of the relationship between Helena and Constantius is also unknown. The sources are equivocal on the point, sometimes calling Helena Constantius' "wife", and sometimes calling her his "concubine." Jerome, perhaps confused by the vague terminology of his own sources, manages to do both. Some scholars, such as the historian Jan Drijvers, assert that Constantius and Helena were joined in a common-law marriage, a cohabitation recognized in fact but not in law. Others, like Timothy Barnes, assert that Constantius and Helena were joined in an official marriage, on the grounds that the sources claiming an official marriage are more reliable.

Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on the 27th of February of an uncertain year soon after 270 (probably around 272). At the time, she was in Naissus (Niš, Serbia). Constantius divorced Helena at some time before 289, when he married Theodora, Maximian's daughter. (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married.) Helena never remarried and lived for a while in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her.

Constantine was proclaimed Augustus of the Roman Empire in 306 by Constantius' troops after the latter had died, and following his elevation his mother was brought back to the public life and the imperial court. She received the title of Augusta in 325 and died in 330 with her son at her side. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum, although the connection is often questioned. The elaborate reliefs contain hunting scenes. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshipers in modest attire.

Sainthood

She is considered by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches as a saint, famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on 21 May, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on 18 August. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.

Relic discoveries

Constantine appointed his mother Helen as Augusta, and gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury in order to locate the relics of Judeo-Christian tradition. In 325, Helena was in charge of such a journey to Jerusalem by her son. Upon the request of the monks in the region, Helena ordered the construction of a church in Egypt to identify the Burning Bush of Sinai. The chapel, at St. Catherine's Monastery often referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen, is dated to the year AD 330.

Jerusalem was still rebuilding from the destruction of Emperor Hadrian, who had built a temple to Venus over the site of Jesus's tomb near Calvary. According to legend, Helena entered the temple with Bishop Macarius, ordered the temple torn down and chose a site to begin excavating, which led to the recovery of three different crosses. Refused to be swayed by anything but solid proof, the empress had a woman from Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, brought to her. When the woman touched the first and second crosses, her condition did not change, but when she touched the third and final cross she suddenly recovered[citation needed], and Helena declared the cross with which the woman had been touched to be the True Cross. On the site of discovery, Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as well as on other sites detected by Helena.

She also found the nails of the crucifixion. To use their miraculous power to aid her son, Helena allegedly had one placed in Constantine's helmet, and another in the bridle of his horse. Helena left Jerusalem and the eastern provinces in 327 to return to Rome, bringing with her large parts of the True Cross and other relics, which were then stored in her palace's private chapel, where they can be still seen today. Her palace was later converted into the church Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

According to one tradition, Helena acquired the Holy Tunic on her trip to Jerusalem and sent it to Trier.

Several of Saint Helena's treasures are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Some of them are a part of Jesus Christ's tunic, pieces of the holy cross and the world's only pieces of the rope to which Jesus was tied with on the Cross. The latter has been held at the Staurovouni monastery, which was also founded by Saint Helena.

A Cathedral was named after her in Helena, Montana.

Depictions in British folklore

In Great Britain, later legend, mentioned by Henry of Huntingdon but made popular by Geoffrey of Monmouth, claimed that Helena was a daughter of the King of Britain, Cole of Camulodunum, who allied with Constantius to avoid more war between the Britons and Rome. Geoffrey further states that she was brought up in the manner of a queen, as she had no brothers to inherit the throne of Britain. The source for this may have been Sozomen's Historia Ecclesiastica, which however does not claim Helena was British but only that her son Constantine picked up his Christianity there. Constantine was with his father when he died in Eboracum (York), but neither had spent much time in Britain. There is no other surviving evidence to support this legend, which may be due to confusion with Saint Elen, wife of the usurper Magnus Maximus.[citation needed]

At least twenty-five holy wells currently exist in the United Kingdom that are dedicated to Saint Helena. She is also the patron saint of Colchester and Abingdon.

Adrian Gilbert has argued that Helena traveled to Nevern in Wales where she hid the True Cross. near the local Norman church of St Brynach, where a cross is carved into a rock formation. Named the Pilgrim's Cross, religious pilgrims once came here to pray for visions. Names of local places are abundant with cross imagery, including "River of the Empress," "Mountain of the Cross," "Pass of the Cross" and others. The True Cross, however, has not been found in this region.

Depictions in fiction

Helena is the protagonist of Evelyn Waugh's novel Helena. She is also the main character of Priestess of Avalon (2000), a fantasy novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson. She is given the name Eilan and depicted as a trained priestess of Avalon. In the anime and manga, Hellsing, the Nail of Helena is a powerful artifact used by the Paladin Alexander Anderson to gain supernatural power. -------------------- At age 80, Helen travelled over 1400 miles from Rome to Jerusalem to gather Christian relics. According to legend, she discovered the true cross of Christ. Her feast falls on August 18. She is the patron saint of archaeologists. She is also the patron saint of our own Helen Budz! -------------------- Reference: http://familytrees.genopro.com/318186/jarleslekt/default.htm?page=toc_families.htm -------------------- (Latin: Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta) also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_of_Constantinople -------------------- http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/c/i/p/Susan-D-Cipp/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0678.html

http://larryvoyer.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I46631&tree=v7_28 -------------------- Sainte Hélène & Reine d'Angleterre -

Heilige Helena & Koningin van Engeland -

Saint Helen & Queen of England

-------------------- Helena's birthplace is not known with certainty. The sixth-century historian Procopius is the earliest authority for the statement that Helena was a native of Drepanum, in the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Her son Constantine renamed the city "Helenopolis" after her death in 328, giving rise to the belief that the city was her birthplace.[2] Although he might have done so in honor of her birthplace, Constantine probably had other reasons for doing so. The Byzantinist Cyril Mango has argued that Helenopolis was refounded to strengthen the communication network around his new capital in Constantinople, and was renamed to honor Helena, not to mark her birthplace.[3] There was also a Helenopolis in Palestine (modern Daburiyya)[4][5] and a Helenopolis in Lydia.[6] These cities, and the province of Helenopontus in the Diocese of Pontus, were probably both named after Constantine's mother.[2]

The bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea states that she was about 80 on her return from Palestine.[7] Since that journey has been dated to 326–28, Helena was probably born in 248 or 250. Little is known of her early life.[8] Fourth-century sources, following Eutropius' "Breviarium," record that she came from a low background. Saint Ambrose was the first to call her a stabularia, a term translated as "stable-maid" or "inn-keeper". He makes this fact a virtue, calling Helena a bona stabularia, a "good stable-maid".[9] Other sources, especially those written after Constantine's proclamation as emperor, gloss over or ignore her background.[8]

It is unknown where she first met Constantius.[10] The historian Timothy Barnes has suggested that Constantius, while serving under Emperor Aurelian, could have met her while stationed in Asia Minor for the campaign against Zenobia. Barnes calls attention to an epitaph at Nicomedia of one of Aurelian's protectors, which could indicate the emperor's presence in the Bithynian region soon after 270.[11] The precise legal nature of the relationship between Helena and Constantius is also unknown. The sources are equivocal on the point, sometimes calling Helena Constantius' "wife", and sometimes calling her his "concubine".[10] Jerome, perhaps confused by the vague terminology of his own sources, manages to do both.[12] Some scholars, such as the historian Jan Drijvers, assert that Constantius and Helena were joined in a common-law marriage, a cohabitation recognized in fact but not in law.[13] Others, like Timothy Barnes, assert that Constantius and Helena were joined in an official marriage, on the grounds that the sources claiming an official marriage are more reliable.[14]

Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on the 27th of February of an uncertain year soon after 270[15] (probably around 272).[16] At the time, she was in Naissus (Niš, Serbia).[17] Constantius divorced Helena at some time before 289, when he married Theodora, Maximian's daughter.[18] (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married).[19] Helena never remarried and lived for a while in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her.

Constantine was proclaimed Augustus of the Roman Empire in 306 by Constantius' troops after the latter had died, and following his elevation his mother was brought back to the public life and the imperial court. She received the title of Augusta in 325 and died in 330 with her son at her side. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum, although the connection is often questioned, next to her is the sarcophagus of her granddaughter Saint Constantina (Saint Constance). The elaborate reliefs contain hunting scenes. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshipers in modest attire. -------------------- When Constantius was named caesar, or successor to the throne of the Roman Empire, in 293, he divorced her because of her non patrician origin. She devoted the rest of her life to religious pilgrimages, visiting Jerusalem about 325 and founding there the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of the Nativity. According to some legends, she was the discoverer of the True Cross in Palestine. Her feast day is August 18.

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Saint Helena of the Cross's Timeline

270
270
Naissus, Moesia Superior, Modern Nish In Serbia
272
February 27, 272
Naissus, Moesia Superior (now Nish), Serbia
330
August 18, 330
or 8/18/330
1903
March 15, 1903
Vatican, Rome, Italy
????
Drepanum, Bithynia, Anatolia or Naissus, the Balkans
????
Helena
????
????
Helena
????
Helena