Sts. Constantine and Helen
Today we celebrate the feast of Saints Constantine and Helen.
St. Constantine was the emperor of Constantinople, was a champion of the faith, and helped Christianity to flourish. St. Constantine published the Edict of Milan which allowed Christians to practice their faith. He commissioned the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. St. Constantine is known for waiting to be baptized until his deathbed, which is certainly cutting it close!
St. Helen was the mother of St. Constantine and discovered the true cross. St. Helen went to the Holy Land on a mission to find the true Cross and the burial place of Jesus. St. Helen enlisted people to help her on her mission, and upon arriving at the site she thought contained the cross of Jesus, instructed them to start digging. Three crosses were found, and St. Helen took each of them to a leper to see if the leper would be healed. Upon touching the cross of Jesus to the leper, the leper was healed. There was much rejoicing, including by the leper!
What can we learn from these saints? St. Constantine allowed Christianity to flourish despite what we can safely assume were objections from those around him. St. Constantine seems curious to see how this religion would respond and then curious about the religion itself. But he doesn't take the final plunge or make a commitment until he's dying. Let us be bolder and braver in our commitments, not waiting till the last minute.
St. Helen was relentless in her pursuit of Jesus and His Cross. Making the trip would have been incredibly hard, even for the mother of an Emperor who likely had many, many privileges. May we too be willing to face hardship while searching for Jesus and the cross we're carrying.