In a moving atmosphere, thousands of believers welcomed on Sunday in Saint (Agia) Barbara the Holy Relics of Saint (Agia) Helen, the mother of Constantine the Great, from Venice to Athens along with a piece of Holy Wood. They both were brought from the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice were they are being kept.
It is the first time the Holy Relic came out of Venice, and so thousands of believers had gathered early to watch his reception and the events that followed.
Their journey begun with a the Holy Relics being accompanied by priests with candles, Byzantine flags and the banner of Venice under the sounds of a Venetian band in the canals, accompanied by Cretan and Pontian with traditional uniforms.
They were received in accordance with the Head of State diplomatic protocol by Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos and the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, in the presence of representatives of the government, the Parliament, the Armed Forces and the Diplomatic Corps, while the Minister of National Defense Panos Kammenos attended their reception at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport where young Cretans and Pontians dressed in traditional uniforms descended from the plane and escorted the sacred relics at the church of Agia Barbara.
The Holy Relics were taken from Constantinople in 1211 AD to Venice, almost 1700 years ago.
They were brought to Athens on the occasion of the completion of the 80th anniversary of the work of the Apostolic Ministry of the Church of Greece. The sacred relic will be exhibited at the sacred temple of Agia BarBara in the Athenian municipality until 15 June.
The Archbishop’s spokesperson, Haris Konidaris, stated in “Proto Thema”: “This fact in itself highlights the spiritual and cultural identity of Europe. Europe can really serve its people and live only if its foundations are still the ancient Greek thinking, Roman Law and Christianity. Far from its Christian roots, it is not the Europe that its founders, the Europe of justice and solidarity, envisioned.”
Agia Helen is the first Christian Empress.
Agia Eleni, is known and the finding of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and for her enormous charity work while the Greek people have associated many traditions with her in Asia Minor, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Tilos, Kastelorizo, in Naxos, Paros.
The protector of the Christians of St. Helena died in 328 AD at the age of 80 years.
(Click to enlarge)