Iconographer: Sister Markella, Holy Monastery of the Annunciation, Patmos
Cemmemorate on May 21
This great and renowned sovereign of the Christians was the son of Constantius Chlorus (the ruler of the westernmost parts of the Roman empire), and of the blessed Helen. He was born in 272, in (according to some authorities) Naissus of Dardania, a city on the Hellespont. In 306, when his father died, he was proclaimed successor to his throne. In 312, on learning that Maxentius and Maximinus had joined forces against him, he attacked and mightily conquered him. The following day, Constantine entered Rome in triumph and was proclaimed Emperor of the West by the Senate.In 324 he became monarch over the West and the East. Under him and because of him all the persecutions against the Church ceased.. In 325 he gathered the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. In 324, in the ancient city of Byzantium, he laid the foundations of the new capital of his realm, and solemnly inaugurated it on May 11, 330, naming it after himself, Constantinople. Falling ill near Nicomedia, he requested to receive divine Baptism, and when he had been deemed worthy of the Holy Mysteries, he reposed in 337, on May 21 or 22, the day of Pentecost, having lived sixty-five years. As for his holy mother Helen, after her son had made the Faith of Christ triumphant throughout the Roman Empire, she undertook a journey to Jerusalem and found the Holy Cross on which our Lord was crucified.After this, Saint Helen, in her zeal to glorify Christ, erected churches in Jerusalem at the sites of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, in Bethlehem at the cave where our Saviour was born, another on the Mount of Olives whence He ascended into Heaven, and many others throughout the Holy Land, Cyprus, and elsewhere. She was proclaimed Augusta. She departed to the Lord being about eighty years of age, according to some in the year 330, according to others, in 336.
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