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The biographical Icons of Saints Constantine and Helen


The depictions of the lives of Saints Constantine and Helen found in churches around Greece are very few, mainly in Crete, at temples of the 13th and 15th centuries, in a big part because of the centuries-old ties between the Island and Byzantium.

A depiction that stands out is one of the birth of Saint Constantine, in which the infant is seen with Saint Helen on its right. The mural is found on the north wall, near the Holy Altar, at the church of Agios Georgios and Konstantinos, in the village of Pyrgos, in Heraklion. At the same church there are three more representations: Saint Helen on a horse, following another rider carrying the young Constantine in his arms, the Vision of St. Constantine about the Holy Cross and his entrance in Rome and finally the scene of the Blessing of Christ of the two Saints.

Scenes depicting the two Saints are also found in the 14th century chapel of St. Constantine in Kritsa, Mirabello, Crete, with frescoes depicting three scenes from his life, his entrance in Rome, his Baptism and the discovery of the Holy Cross.

At the 14th century chapel of the church of the Virgin Mary, in Spina Kantanou, Chania, two scenes are preserved from discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helen. In the 15th century palaeological church in Agia Paraskevi, Mylopotamos, Crete, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is depicted on a mural, while the same theme is depicted on the fresco of another church, Agios Georgios in Ano Viannos, Heraklion.


Icons of Saints Constantine and Helen

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