This statue of St. Helena is found at St. Helen Parish in Glendale. (Courtesy of St. Helen, Glendale)

Aug. 18

Helena was the mother of Constantine, the Roman emperor who in 313 ended the persecution of Christians throughout the empire.

She was born in circa 255 Asia Minor, married a Roman general named Constantius Chlorus, and gave birth to Constantine in 274 in what is now Serbia.

She became a Christian in 312, and thereafter was known for her devotion, prayerfulness and generosity to the poor.

In about 326, she went to the Holy Land, where she spent her last years humbly doing the housework in her convent but also building churches on holy sites. She reportedly found the “true cross” of Calvary. She died in 330.

She is the patroness of St. Helen Parish in Glendale.