Servatius, Helen and Urban

Date of news: 13 May 2016

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The woman in the middle is Empress Helen, mother to Constantine the Great (feast day 21 May). Helen was a devout Christian and had many churches and monasteries built in her name. According to legend, in the fourth century AD she found the Holy Cross upon which Jesus died. In this case the artist left out the cross with which she is usually depicted. On the right we see Pope Urban I, who is recognizable by his papal tiara (feast day 25 May). Urban was elected pope in the year 222 AD, but that is practically all we know for certain about his life. On the left stands Servatius of Maastricht, the first bishop of Maastricht (feast day 13 May). His relics are being kept in the treasury of St Servaas, a reliquary dating back to the twelfth century.