, the empress, mother of Constantine, and one of the saints of the Romish communion, who gives name to many of our churches, owed her elevation to the charms of her person. She was of obscure origin, born at the little village of Drepanum in Bithynia, where the first situation in which we hear of her was that of hostess of an inn. Constantius Chlorus became enamoured of her probably there, and married her; but, on being associated with Dioclesian in the empire, divorced her to marry Theodora, daughter of Maximilian Hercules. The accession of her son to the empire drew her again from obscurity; she obtained the title of Augusta, and was received at court with ali the honours due to the mother of an emperor. Her many virtues riveted the affection of her son to her, and, when he became a Christian, she also was | converted; yet she did not scruple to admonish him when she disapproved his conduct. When she was aear eighty years old she planned and executed a journey to the Holy Land, where she is said to have assisted at the discovery of the true cross of Christ, reported by the Romanists to have been accompanied by many miracles. Jn the year 328, soon after this discovery, she died at the age of eighty. Helena, wherever she went, left proofs of a truly Christian liberality; she relieved the poor, orphans, and widows; built churches, and in all respests shewed herself worthy of the confidence of her son, who supported her in these pious efforts by an unlimited permission to draw upon his treasures. At her death he paid her the highest honours, had her body sent to Rome to be deposited in the tomb of the emperors, and raised her native village to the rank of a city, with the new name of Helenopolis. She proved her prudence and political wisdom by the influence she always retained over her son, and by the care she took to prevent all interference of the half-brothers of Constantine, sons of Cons tan ti us Chlorus and Theodora; who, being brought into notice after her death, by the injudicious liberality of the emperor, were massacred by their nephews as soon as they succeeded their father in the empire. 1


Butler’s Lives of the saints.