Sainte‑Hélène Chapel

Sainte‑Hélène Chapel

Sainte-Hélène Chapel was rebuilt in 1755 in Neoclassical style, reusing most of the old stone dating from its original construction in 1480. Clad in cut stone, granite and mica schist from the quarry in Port Rhu, it has an unusual design in that it is orientated North-to-South and slopes quite dramatically.

Sainte-Hélène

The chapel is dedicated to Saint Helen, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantin who officially converted to Christianity in 313 AD. She is said to have brought holy relics from Christ’s crucifixion cross. Near the choir, the multi-coloured wooden statue of Saint Helen dates from the 1600s and is the work of a cabinet-maker from the Navy in Brest.

Other statues that are classed as Historic Monuments: Sainte-Anne, Saint-Philibert, Notre-Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Christ on the cross.

L'histoire de

Sainte-Hélène

The Pulpit

The pulpit in multi-coloured wood is made in the Regency style, as is the altar, and it dates from the 1700s. It is topped by a bell-ringing angel. The panels in faux wood and gilding trace the story of Saint Helen.

Sailors, factory workers and shop workers used to come early in the morning to pray in the chapel on Rosmeur Port. Unfortunately, in the 19th century, it became too small for the large local population. The chapel was recognised as an Historic Monument in 2012.

Statue of Santig Du: the little black saint, or Yannick, born in Saint-Vougay in north Finistère in 1280. He became a monk and dedicated his life to the poor, during wartime, famine and plague. Worshippers used to place bread at the foot of this statue, which was also the case in the cathedral in Quimper, while in Sainte-Hélène Chapel, people prayed to him to help find lost objects – often their prayers were answered!

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