Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Flavia Julia Helena

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Flavia Julia Helena
b. circa A.D. 248, Bithynia (modern-day Turkey); d. circa 329, Nicomedia, Bithynia

Flavia Julia Helena, known as Helena, was the wife of Constantius Chlorus, emperor of the Western Roman Empire, and the mother of Constantine the Great (ruled 312–337). Most of the stories surrounding her are more myth than fact, but she is generally credited with finding the relics of the True Cross (on which Christ was crucified) and the remains of the Three Wise Men, the prophets who visited the infant Jesus. Helena is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on May 21, while the Roman Catholic Church has set her feast day as August 18.

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