Who was Helena Augustus? What was her life like, as a prostitude, christian and a saint?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Flavia Iulia Helena who was also known as St. Helena and Helena Augusta, lived from about 249-329 A.D.  Helena came from the Drepanum area of Rome.  This area was located in the province of Bithynia.  Her early life consisted of a job as a tavern mistress.  It was here that she supposedly met her future husband Flavious Valerius Constantius.  She had one child that we know of.  Constantine was born to Helana and Flavious around 272.  It was during Constantine’s era that the Roman Empire converted to Christianity. When the Empire was split in two and Constantius was made Caesar, he left Helena to marry the daughter of Emperor Maximianus, Theodora; they were married about 20 years. Her date of death is approximate and based on Eusebius saying she was 80 years old.

St. Helena may not have been a Christian at the beginning of her life, but if not, she did convert.  She was given sainthood for supposedly finding the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.  She is also responsible for the establishment of several churches during her pilgrimage.   

"Although little is known of her early life, the most common belief is that Helena was born of the humblest of origins and possibly started her life as a stable girl or servant at an inn. While a few accounts claim that she married Constantius Chlorus, more often the interpretation has been that she was his concubine."