Saint Helena and Saint Constantine

St Helena was born in Asia Minor in 248 AD. The Roman Centurian Flavious Constas (or Konstantios Chloros) so fell in love with her beauty and her good character that he married her.Her husband was a secret friend of the Christians.A logical man,clever in the art of warfare. He fought in both Germany and England and he never lost a battle.
She gave birth to her son Constantine in Serbia.

In 290 AD Konstantios was promoted to Caesar and Co-Governor of the West.Spain,France and Britain were under his control. He was forced to divorce Helena and marry Theodora, who was of royal descent.At the age of 15 Constantine was asked to serve under the divine Augustus. St Helena at the age of 45 was now alone-no husband or son.

For 13 years she never saw her beloved son.Augustus took Constantine to Egypt.There he was promoted to command 1000 troops.He was well liked and respected.

In 303 Galerios, the other Caesar, introduced fierce persecutions against the Christians. He watched with jealousy Konstantios in the West, and his son Constantine in the East.In 305, Galerios and Konstantios were promoted to Augustus, the former gaining control of the east and the latter the west.Everyone expected Galerios to take Constantine under his wing.Instead he promoted his barbaric cousin Maximino.Konstantios asked for the return of his son,as he was afraid for his life. Galerios reluctantly agreed, on the condition that Constantine was to advise him the night before he made plans to leave.Constantine suspected something and fled.Galerios was furious.

In 306 Konstantios died in his sons arms in York, England.The troops elected Contantine as Augustus. Galerios only recognised him as Caesar.Now there were 6 co-emperors.Maximianos asked for Constantines help against Galerios.In return he would give him the title of divine Augustus and the hand of his daughter Fafsta. Contantine agreed, and divorced Minervina who was not of royal blood.


When Galerios died Constantine allied with Likinios and headed for Rome where Maxentios had ruled sodom like. His army was five times the strength of Constantines (170,000 foot and 18,000 cavalry).Before Constantine neared Rome he had a vision. He saw in the sky a cross with the words "with this you win" under it.
(EN TOUTO NIKA in Greek).
He realised the Lord was with him.He made a gold cross and put a gold wreath with the letter "X" on it,representing the name of Christ.
He marched with the Cross at the head of his army. He marched through the alps, Torino, Milan, and Brescia. On the 28 October 312 he was at the gates of Rome.He won a great victory. Constantine firmly believed that his victory was due to the Power of the Cross.He became a Christian and was baptised,just like his mother Helena.

Likianos married the sister of Constantine (Konstantia), and the only two emperors left now were related.Likianos was a murderer and soon fell out with Constantine.Peace was eventually restored, and Constantine was given the Balkans and Greece as the spoils of victory.Constantine so loved his mother that he made her Augustine and money was introduced with her image on it.Despite everything Likianos still favoured idolatry.

In 313 Likianos and Constantine signed an agreement by which everyone was free to worship as they pleased.Constantines zeal and love of God resulted in another war with Likianos. The latter lost 33,000 troops this time.Constantine marched into Byzantium. His sister begged him to spare the life of her husband Likianos.Constantine agreed and sent Likianos into exile to Salonika.Within the year he was murdered. By 323 Constantine was emperor of nearly all Europe and Asia.He signed two accords. By the first he compensated all Christians from the injustices of Likianos.By the second,he, in effect, made Christianity the true faith.Constantine was never a dictator. He was a humble man. He was praised for this by St John Chrysostom.

As Satan could not destroy Constantine, he decided to destroy his family from within.On the one side was St Helena and Crispo, her beloved grandson.On the other side were Constantines brothers and sisters-the children of Theodora, and Fafsta.Imagine the petty jealousies that went on in a family like this for the wordly gains of power and favouritism.

Fafsta was true to Constantine in the beginning.She told him that her own father was planning to kill him.Constantine put someone else in his bed, and the truth was proven when Fafsta's father murdered the servant.Then Fafsta became insanely jealous of Crispo, who was favoured by Constantine and his mother, even above his own children. Fafsta told her husband that Crispo was after his throne.Constantine was very nieve and, believing his wife, had Crispo murdered. St Helena was heartbroken.

In his last few years Constantine was baptised. St Helena gave much of her wealth away to the poor and for the building of churches.She built the Churches of the birth of Christ and the Resurection in the Holy Land, and she found the Cross on which Christ died. This was proven to her when a dead child was brought back to life after been laid on it.She died in 327 aged 80.She built churches in Cyprus and many schools too.Among the churches she built was the Church at Stavrovouni.
We celebrate their day on 21st May every year.

The Church in London, England
The Greek Orthodox Church of St Constantine and Helen,
69A Westow Street,
Upper Norwood,London, SE19 3RW

Tel:0208-653 6824



St Helena in Cyprus
Poem to St Helena

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Last Published:27/08/06
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