This will be the first time the relics of Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, will leave Italy since the Crusades.
The relics will be transferred to Greece upon the initiative of the Apostolic Ministry of the Church of Greece, following the approval from the Vatican for the temporary visit.
When Mouzenidis Group President Boris Mouzenidis was approached by the apostolic ministry for Ellinair to bring the relics to Greece, he accepted immediately.
“It is the utmost honor and blessing for Ellinair to participate in the transfer of the relics via a special flight from Italy”, the carrier said in an announcement.
The official reception will take place on May 14 in front of the City Hall of Egaleo by the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos II. The holy relics of St. Helen and the Holy Cross will be exposed to the devotion of the faithful in the Church of Agia Varvara (St Barbara) in Athens from May 14 to June 15, 2017.
St.Helena is a revered saint amongst Christians around the world, particular the orthodox community, for her tireless work with the poor and her contributions to the early church. Tradition credits her with a pilgrimage to Syria Palaestina, particularly to Jerusalem, during which she discovered the True Cross.