Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Helena

According to tradition, the great and holy Helena lived in the German holy city of Trier, which later became a major center of the Roman Empire under the venerable Catholic emperor Constantine. (Although Constantine, like most other great Catholic monarchs has been terribly maligned by the falsified 'historical" accounts of Freemasonic, Modernist, secular, Protestant and British "historians," the authentic accounts of Church history tell us quite accurately that he was truly a great and holy defender of the Catholic Faith and Christ's One, True Church. Indeed, the eastern Church has always honored him as a saint and the awesome basilica of Constantine in Trier bears witness to his having been also honored as a saint in much of the early Latin Church.)
The incomparable faith and piety of Saint Helena greatly influenced her son Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, and served to kindle a holy zeal in the hearts of the people of the Roman Empire. Forgetful of her high dignity, she delighted to assist at the Divine Office amid the poor; and by her alms-deeds showed herself a mother to the indigent and distressed. In her eightieth year she made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, with the ardent desire of discovering the Cross on which Our Blessed Redeemer suffered. After many labors, three crosses were found on Mount Calvary, together with the nails and the inscription recorded by the Evangelists. It still remained to identify the true Cross of Our Lord. By the advice of the Bishop, Macarius, the three were applied successively to a woman afflicted with an incurable disease, and no sooner had the third touched her than she arose, perfectly healed. The pious Empress, transported with joy, built a most glorious church on Mount Calvary to receive the precious relic, sending portions of it to Rome, Trier, and Constantinople, where they were solemnly exposed to the adoration of the faithful. In the year 312, Constantine, while encamped with the imperial troops in Germany, found himself attacked by the heathen Maxentius with vastly superior forces, and the very existence of his Empire threatened. In this crisis he bethought himself of the Christian God Whom his mother Helena worshipped, and kneeling down, prayed God to reveal Himself and give him victory. Suddenly, at noonday, a cross of fire was seen by his army in the calm and cloudless sky, and beneath it the words, "In Hoc Signo Vinces" C "In this Sign you shall conquer." By Divine command, Constantine made a standard like the Cross he had seen, which was borne at the head of his troops; and under this Christian ensign they marched against the enemy, and obtained a complete victory. Shortly after, St. Helena herself returned from her beloved city of Trier (where today is found the magnificent basilica of the seamless Robe of Christ left there by St. Helena) to Rome, where she expired in 328. Her feast is observed on August 18.
Reflection: St. Helena thought it the glory of her life to find the Cross of Christ, and to raise a temple in Its honor. How many Christians in these days are ashamed to make this life-giving sign, and to confess themselves the followers of the Crucified!

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