Helena was a Greek woman of low social status who married the Roman emperor Constantius. Together, they had a son named Constantine. Then Constantius exiled Helena for political reasons. Years later, when Constantine became emperor of the Roman Empire, he restored his mother to a place of honor. Constantine became the first Christian Roman emperor, and Helena became a Christian too.


In the early fourth century (around A.D. 320), when Helena was about eighty years old, she began traveling to Israel and the surrounding region looking for the historical places Jesus lived and walked. Helena was the first biblical archeologist. She discovered and identified many sites that were significant in the life of Jesus, including the places she believed to be the sites of His birth, death, burial, and resurrection.


Today, there are churches marking several of these locations, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the believed location of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the believed location of Jesus’ birth. For centuries, Christians from all over the world have traveled to these sites to worship and learn about the life of Christ.


Helena’s life shows us it is never too late to make an impact for God’s kingdom. She spent the final years of her life searching for the places Jesus lived and walked in order to help others know and worship Him. She created places of worship that have lasted for centuries and have impacted millions of Christians from around the world. No matter our age or life stage, God can use us when we are faithful to say yes to wherever He leads.


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Melissa Fuller

Melissa Fuller

Melissa loves God’s Word and is committed to helping women fall in love with Scripture (and its author!). She has a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and served as the general editor of the NET Love God Greatly Bible and the managing editor of the CSB She Reads Truth Bible and the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA, loves running and hiking and is currently pursuing her goal of visiting all the National Parks in the US!

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