Hidden treasures

Venice enshrines the remains of St Elena, the mother of Emperor Constantine

Historical Curiosities
Sant_Elena

Venice enshrines the remains of St Elena, the mother of Emperor Constantine

Amongst the remains of the many saints that are kept in Venice there are also those of a mother: St Elena.

Elena was in fact the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine who, with the edict of Milan in 313 A.C., gave Christians the freedom of worshipl.

St Elena is remembered for having discovered the cross and nails that were used for the crucifixion of Jesus. After her death she was buried in Rome. Her body was later transferred to Constantinople and finally in 1211 the remains of St Elena were brought to Venice.

The legend says that the ship that transported the remains of St Elena ran aground as soon as it entered the Venice lagoon near the island of Olivolo, on a nearby small island where a small chapel dedicated to St Elena had been built.

The sailors tried to lighten the ship by unloading its cargo onto the nearby small island and this included the urn with the remains. Once the ship was afloat again the Saint's urn was placed back on board, however, the ship hit the ground again. 'Perhaps the Saint wishes to remain here' – thought the sailors – and consequently left the remains in the chapel, which was later turned into a gothic church becoming a pilgrimage site for all mothers in the world.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

canzoni-ve
Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...

View

Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

vò
Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...

View

Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

10_film_venezia
Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...

View

Venice: April 25, 2020: Five fun ideas to celebrate the Patron Saint of Venice at home! #stayhome

Untitled
Local Traditions

April 25 is a day of great celebrations in Venice: not only is it Liberation Day, but it is also the Feast of St. Mark, patron of the c...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View