Metropolitan Panteleimon of Koroneia referred to the great contribution of Saints Constantine and Helen at the Church of Saint Constantine in Piraeus.
“His contribution to the Church was crucial. He did remove the Church from the catacombs, he recognised the Christian Church and the faithful as equal members of the Empire and later he became interested in the unity of the Church by convening the First Ecumenical Council. But because of our admiration for Constantine the Great, we usually tend to set aside his mother, St. Helen.”
Constantine owes what he achieved to his mother; Saint Helen had been sowing the seeds of Christian faith within the heart and mind of Constantine, which grew deep roots and led him to take his very important subsequent actions.
This is the power of motherhood! It is a unique and incomparable gift, given by the Lord to all women. After all, it is known that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” That is why the Church honours women. Christ was the first to honour them. Women had been always following Christ as well as His disciples. Women accompanied Him on his way to the Cross. Women were the first to receive the message of the Resurrection.
In addition, women stand out as martyrs, apostles, ascetics. Women are the first to give affection and express their love. The Acts of the Apostles speak, for example, of Saint Tabitha, who distinguished herself for her charity work. Women play a leading role in volunteering and in the social work of the Church.
It is wrong to misinterpret certain passages of the Gospel and to think that Christ and the Church underestimate women. In the New Testament, Paul the Apostle declares: “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:4)
It is important that the woman does not betray her high position and mission. The woman is “the most honourable gem” for the Church. She is even more valuable than most gems, but not a “marketable item” in contrast to our erroneous “cultural perception” of women. After all, above all women and above all of us there is the Theotokos, who protects us and opens her arms every time we need help.
St. Helen, whom we commemorate together with her son Constantine, inspires and blesses all mothers and all women in general because even those who did not become mothers can offer a lot to society.