Celtic and Old English Saints          18 August

* St. Daig of Iniskin
* St. Evan of Ayrshire
* St. Helena

St. Daig Maccairill, Bishop of Iniscaoin-Deghadh(of Iniskin)
(Dagaeus, Daganus)
Died c. 560. Son of Cayrill, Daig was a disciple of Saint Finian. As
Irish bishop of Iniskin (Inis Cain Dega) he founded and governed a
monastery. The Book of Leinster makes him "one of the Three Master
Craftsmen of Ireland." (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).

Troparion of St Daga tone 6
O Daga thou Hierarch beloved by thy flock,/ thou didst raise Saint
Cairlon of Cashel to life/ and thy piety enlightened Ireland./ Pray to
Christ our God for us all.

St. Evan (Inan), Hermit in Ayrshire, Scotland
9th century. Scottish hermit who lived in Ayrshire, where several
churches are dedicated to him (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).

St. Helena, Empress and Widow
Died 19 August 330. In the Orthodox Churches her feast is observed on 21

Helena (or Helen) was born about 255, and married to the Roman general
Constantius Chlorus, who became emperor of Britain, Gaul, and Spain when
Diocletian divided the Empire. In 274 she bore him a son, Constantine,
but in 292 he divorced her in order to cement a political alliance by
another marriage. Most historians say that she was born in Drepanum (now
Helenopolis) in Asia Minor; but an old tradition asserts that she was
born in Britain, in Colchester (51:54 N 0:54 E), and was the daughter of
the chieftain Cole, remembered today as Old King Cole. If so, she may
have been a Christian from birth, since Christianity was well
established in that region.

In 306, after the death of Constantius, the army at York proclaimed
Constantine emperor in his father's place, and by 312 he was master of
the Western Empire and issued an Edict of Toleration that made the
practice of Christianity legal for the first time in over 200 years.
Helena worked enthusiastically to promote Christianity, and eventually
went to the Holy Land, where she spent large sums on the relief of the
poor and on building churches on sacred sites. She is particularly
associated with the
discovery at Jerusalem, near the site of Calvary, of the cross on which
the Lord Jesus was crucified.

At least two prominent English novelists have written about her. Evelyn
Waugh wrote a novel called Helena, and Dorothy L Sayers wrote a play
called The Emperor Constantine for the 2000th anniversary of the
founding of the city of Colchester. I have not read the former, but can
recommend the latter as interesting and informative, both historically
and theologically.
From: http://www.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/

The twelfth-century historian, Geoffrey of Monmouth, claimed that Helen,
mother of the Emperor Constantine and discoverer of the true Cross, was
a British woman, daughter of King Coel of Colchester. In the Welsh
Mabinogion, she is described as a Welsh princess, bride of the
self-styled emperor, Magnus Maximus, who was led by a dream to find her.
This belief was strong enough for the belief to grow up that she was
responsible for the Roman roads (now marked on Ordnance Survey maps as
the Sarn Helen) which link Wales from the north to south.

Kontakion of Ss Constantine and Helena tone 3
Today Constantine and Helena his mother expose to our veneration the
Cross, / the awesome Cross of Christ, / a sign of salvation to the Jews/
and a standard of victory:/ a great symbol of conquest and triumph.

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