Ipomoni of Loutraki

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St. Ipomoni - Helen Palaiologos

Saint Ipomoni, Greek for patience, was the Queen of Byzantium Augusta Helen Palaiologos, the daughter of the emperor of Slaves Constantine Dragasis. She became empress of Byzantium as the wife of Emmanuel Palaiologos and was mother of the last emperor of the Byzantium Empire Constantine XI Palaiologos. The siege of Constantinople (Istanbul) happened at the time she and her husband were exiled (1390–1392).

She had six children and as a empress with her pious works she gave pleasant not only to God, but also to the people. She was well known for her wisdom and her justice. Her husband (formal emperor) became a monk with the name Mathieu and after his death she also became a nun at the monastery of Kira–Martha. She helped to establish an old people´s home – with the name – "The hope of the despaired" – at the monastery of St. John of the Stone where the relics of St. Patapios were also kept.

She died at March 13, 1450 AD, a few days before Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, fall at the hands of the Turks barbarians, after a long siege. At the fall of the Constantinople died her son emperor Constantine Palaiologos, and many innocent Christians were slaughtered from the barbarians even inside the famous church of Agia Sofia (one of the miracles of modern history, a amazing construction) which after the siege the Turks they turned it to a mosque. Even today the Turks want to get rid of the Christian Patriarch of the Constantinople and also to get rid from the last Christians that live in Constantinople, after centuries of persecutions.

You will find her icon inside the cage of St. Patapios in Loutraki, Greece and also her skull inside the Church of Mary in the same monastery.

Her memory is commemorated March 13, the day she fell asleep, and May 29, the day Constantinople fell and her son Constantine XI Palaiologos died.

See also