New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Helena

detail from 'Saint Helena'; by Cima da Conegliano, c.1495Derivation

  • Greek: light


Widow, wife of Emperor Constantius Chlorus and mother of Constantine, born probably Drepanum (Relenopolis), Bithynia, c.347; died probably there, 330. She was converted to Christianity by her son after his victory over Maxentius, and thenceforth lavished her wealth and influence on behalf of the faith. About 324 she visited Jerusalem, and from this visit arose the tradition of her discovery of the Holy Cross. She lived for some time at Rome, and her tomb is venerated in San Maria in Creli; some of her relics were transferred to the Abbey of Rautvillers, France, 849. Feast, 18 August.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Helena”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 August 2016. Web. 28 September 2021. <>