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May 21st: The Day We Celebrate Saints Constantine & Helen

May 21st holds significant cultural and religious importance for Greeks worldwide as it marks the feast day of Saints Constantine and Helen, also known as Constantine the Great and his mother, Helen.

Celebrated annually in both Greece and throughout the Greek diaspora community, this day commemorates the life and legacy of these revered saints. The Greek names Konstantinos and Eleni, and all the corresponding variations, are among some of the most popular throughout Greece. Anyone named after either saint would celebrate his or her nameday on this day. What is a nameday? Find the answer here.

Some Variations of Saints' Names

  • Konstantinos / Kostas (or Costas) / Dino

  • Eleni

  • Konstantina / Constantina / Dina

  • Elena

  • Helen or Helena

  • Ellen

  • Eleanor / Eleanora

  • Nadia

Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, played a pivotal role in the legalization and spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, while Helen is revered for her discovery of the True Cross. The feast day of Saints Constantine and Helen serves as a reminder of the profound impact of their contributions to Christianity and is celebrated with religious services, processions, and cultural festivities, uniting Greeks in a shared sense of faith and heritage. Learn more about these beloved saints here.

May 21st is a special day each year, as it is the day my husband and beloved koumbara celebrate their namedays. Each year, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have these two incredible individuals as a part of my life.

If you know someone celebrating today, wish them Χρόνια Πολλά (pronounced "Xronia Polla"), which is a common Greek expression wishing someone 'many years' of happiness and health. Happy nameday to all those who celebrate!


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