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

Padua: Villa Grimani Valmarana Calergi in Noventa Padovana

villa-grimani-calergi-valmarana
Unknown places & works

Veneto is undoubtedly the region of Villas, magnificent resorts and ancient places of idleness for Venetian nobles. Yet their origins a...

View

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Padua: The collections of the Convent of St. John in Verdara in Padua

eremitani-padova
Unknown places & works

The most beautiful museum in Padua is undoubtedly the Eremitani museum, created in 1895 to house the city's collections. The original s...

View

Venice: The leaning bell tower on the island of Burano in the Venice lagoon

campanile-burano
Historical Curiosities

The Venice lagoon has many small islands just waiting to be discovered! Burano is certainly one of them: houses with brightly colours, ...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Italia Theatre in Cannaregio

teatro_Italia_venezia
Unknown places & works

Along the busy road linking Santa Lucia train station to the Rialto Bridge in Venice there stands a peculiar neo-Gothic building with t...

View

Verona: Juliet’s balcony in Verona

balcone-giulietta-verona
Big Names

When visiting the beautiful city of Verona, Casa di Giulietta - the house of Juliet, the character immortalized by William Shakespeare ...

View

Venice: St Mark's and Rice and Peas in Venice

risiebisi-venezia
Local Traditions

The city of Venice has many traditional recipes: and so a visit to Venice is not complete without a dining experience! To worthily cele...

View

Venice: The Devil's Bridge on the Island of Torcello in the Venice lagoon

Ponte_Diavolo
Mysteries & Legends

When venturing to the remote Island of Torcello – an ancient settlement of the Venice lagoon – tourists are struck by a stone bridg...

View