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Saint Helena Royal

Reposed 330 Remembered May 21

The mother of Emperor Constantine, St Helena, has a notable place in the spread of the Christian faith throughout the Empire. Not least she was responsible for building several outstanding churches such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (and the Finding of the Cross), the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem and the Monastery of St Catherine on Mount Sinai as well as others.

There is a tradition that Helena was born in Britain, more specifically from Colchester in Essex. It is beyond doubt that she gave birth to a son by Constantius Chlorus, Governor of Britain and he was proclaimed Emperor at York in 306.

The remains of a Roman church can still be seen in Colchester.

A chapel was built into the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, just a little of which can be seen today. The Normans restored the chapel in the 11C. Put to many uses over centuries and restored yet again in the 20C it is now used by the Orthodox parish in the town.

Colchester Roman Church

Orthodox Church

["Saint", "Roman", "Ro0045", "Cent04", "Royal", "Icon", "Pilgrim"]