The Saint Helena Feast was celebrated on Saturday, September 26 2020, with the participation of the Latin Catholic Archbishop of Izmir, Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto, at the Sent Helena Church built in 1904 in the Karşıyaka district of Izmir.
While Monsignor Piretto led the ceremony, the High Priest of the Church Dariusz Stanislaw Bialkowski and General Viker Father Gabriel Ferone accompanied the ceremony. Apollinaire Bahinde, the priest of the Bornova Saint Nom de Marie Church, and Esteban, the priest of the St John Cathedral, also attended the ritual.
After Father Dariusz read words from the Gospel of Christ written by St. Matthew, Monsignor Lorenzo Piretto in his sermon said: “We finally got together to celebrate the feast of Saint Helena, who gave this renewed beautiful church its name. Let’s call on St. Helena during this difficult period.
Saint Helena had a humble life background. While working in a hotel, she met Constantius, who later became emperor. She married him but later divorced. However, Saint Helena remained loyal to this marriage. So She gave us a great example: Marital fidelity despite all the trials and difficulties.
When her son Constantine became emperor, Saint Helena devoted herself entirely to search for God. The Holy Spirit enlightened her to understand the greatness of God’s love, who presented His Son Jesus, who died on the cross for our salvation. She became a biblical herald. She wanted to rediscover the cross and witness Jesus’s victory over sin and death with her life. That’s why we always see Saint Helena portrayed with the cross next to her. It is this passion for evangelism that pushed Helena to build churches dedicated to the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and Rome. At the same time, she witnessed the cross and the love of Jesus with the help of the poor, whom she loved very much. The cross on which Christ Jesus died is the sign of light that Saint Helena wants to entrust to us today.”
This year, no food could be given to the congregation after the ritual because of the epidemic.(SAT-7 TÜRK/Nathalie Ritzmann)