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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ABOUT this period the emperor, having determined upon erecting a temple in honour of God, charged the governors to see that the work was executed in the most sumptuous and elaborate manner possible. His mother Helena also erected two temples, the one at Bethlehem near the cave where Christ was born, the other near the top of the Mount of Olives, whence He ascended to heaven. Many other pious acts of hers are on record; among which the following is not the least remarkable. During her residence at Jerusalem, it is related that she assembled the sacred virgins at a feast, ministered to them at supper, presented them with food, poured water on their hands, and performed other similar services customary on such occasions. When she visited the cities of the East, she bestowed gifts on all the churches, enriched those individuals who had been deprived of their possessions, supplied the necessities of the poor, and restored to liberty those who had been long imprisoned, or condemned to exile or the mines. It seems to me that so many holy actions demanded a recompence; and, indeed, even in this life, she was raised to the summit of magnificence and splendour; she was proclaimed Augusta; her image was stamped on golden coins, and she was invested by her son with unlimited authority over the imperial treasury. Her death too was glorious, for when, at the age of eighty, she quitted this life, she left her son and her descendants, (like her of the race of Cæsar,) masters of the Roman world. And if there be any advantage in being remembered after death, it is certain that her name will be transmitted to future generations, for two cities are named after her, the one in Bithynia, and the other in Palestine. Such is the history of Helena.








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