Helen of Constantinople

Mother of Emperor Constantine who appointed her as "Augusta" (a title of veneration) and gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury in order to locate the relics of Judeo-Christian tradition. As a result she made a journey commencing around 326 AD to Jerusalem.

World Heritage Sites connected to 'Helen of Constantinople':

  • Istanbul "Her body was brought to Constantinople and laid to rest in the imperial vault of the church of the Apostles."
  • Old City of Jerusalem "Discovered" the "exact" site of Jesus's tomb and ordered the pulling down of a Temple to Venus which had been built there and its replacement by the "Church of the Holy Sepulchre"
  • Rome Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Consecrated around 325AD to hold the "Passion Relics" brought back from Jerusalem by Helena of Constantinople. They were once held in the "Chapel of St Helena" but are now in the "Cappella delle Reliquie" (built 1930). They include parts of the "True Cross", thorns from the Crown of Thorns and a nail from the Crucifixion.
  • Saint Catherine Area Received request for assistance from the monks of the region and ordered the building of the "Church of the Burning Bush" which was later to become the heart of St Catherine's Monastery
  • Trier According to Western Christian tradition Helena, whilst in Jerusalem, "discovered" the "Holy Tunic" of Jesus (The "seamless robe" worn shortly before or during his crucifixion. Its fate is described in John 19:23-24). She then sent it to Trier where it is now held in a Baroque Chapel of the Cathedral after its recovery from the interior of the High Altar in 1512.
  • Vatican City Her sarcophagus is in the Museo Pio-Clementino in the Sala a Croce Greca.