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Saint Helen from the Sea Hermitage, CostineștiCod 1181

The establishment and construction of the monastery Saint Helen from the Sea was possible because of King Michael’s mother, Princess Elena. In 1921 she donated about 100 hectares of land to the bank of the Black Sea in order to build a monastery, dedicated to the patron of the Saint Emperors Constantine and Helen, this  monastery would bear the name of Saint Helen. The Church of the Monastery “Saint Helen from the Sea” houses relics of St. Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople and of the Saints Martyrs Zotic, Atal, Camasie and Philip from Niculiţel, Tulcea county.

Even if often, the striking silence of this monastery contrasts to the bustle and noise of the youth resort, Hermitage St Helen is visited by a lot of tourists who want a few moments of communion with the divinity.

The first mention of this monastery appears in 1934, when the Monastery of Saint Helen from the Sea is mentioned,  and  Constanţa Bishop, Gherontie, reminds of this place of worship as being a modest one,  consisting in the priory,  chapel,  bell tower on pillars and a fountain. Consecration of the monastery was carried out in the presence of the famous historian Nicolae Iorga. Within the  monastery lived nuns who   are replaced in 1930 by monks following the numerous pirate attacks from the seashore, which used to threaten their life. The  abbot of the monks and of the monastery was Eraclie Tãutu, he made sure that life within the monastery  has developed harmoniously over the years. But, following the decree from 1959, the monastery is closed and is torn down by the Communists, and on its lands, it is established the village which receives the name of Schitu. The monastic settlement was reestablished during the year 1990 with the financial and moral support of the nun Maria Vasile, who  sold her house and all her properties and started building the monastery. Archbishop of Tomis, Holiness Lucian Florea, sanctified during May 1996 the place where was  to be built the new place of worship, and two years later was consecrated the church dedicated to Saint Emperors Constantine and Helen. Painters Radu Trandafir and Adrian Dumitru are those who painted the church,this being hallowed during May 2005.

This hermitage currently includes four nuns who live a communal life in full harmony.

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