Saint Helena and the True Cross

Inspiration: For several years, I've been fascinated with how the early Church survived all the turmoil of the first three centuries after Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection. Emperor Constantine of course played a big role in the acceptance of Christianity after he saw a vision of a Cross in the sky and then won the battle that made him the 57th Emperor of the Roman Empire. The story of Constantine is intertesting and we should all be grateful for his conversion, even though he hardly followed the teachings of Christ, it was Constantine who stopped the killing of Christians and allowed the Church to flourish.

It was Constantine's mother, Saint Helena, I wanted to know more about. I discovered that Saint Helena converted to Christianity when she was in her mid 60s. Being inspired by the Love of God, she soon traveled from Rome to Jerusalem in search of the Cross that Christ had been crucified on. She not only found the True Cross but she is also responsible for building churches and shrines on Sacred sites, giving money to the poor, liberating many from prison and is credited for spreading the Word of Christ. I imagine she may have even played a role in her son's decision to stop killing Christians. It is documented that Saint Helena mingled among the people and dressed in simple attire.

In many illustrations of Saint Helena, she looks very young. In my painting, I've depicted her later in her life when she made her most significant contributions.


When I Survive the Wondrous Cross

Saint Helena's Feast Day: August 18

Saint Helena and the True Cross

20 X 30
acrylic on cradled birch panel

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