The St. Helen’s Pilgrimage is a mandatory study-abroad program for all Holy Cross Master of Divinity students. Part A includes three weeks of Modern Greek language study in Thessaloniki, a week at the Phanar, and a week of further pilgrimage travel. Part B (optional) includes an additional four weeks of intensive Modern Greek language instruction in Athens and on the island of Paros.
Prior to embarking on the pilgrimage, students must complete a three-credit preparatory course focusing on the history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This course is offered during the spring semester of their junior year.
As the person who found the Cross of Christ, the mother of Emperor Constantine, and a true Christian pilgrim who walked in the footsteps of our Lord and the saints in the Holy Lands and throughout the Byzantine Empire, Saint Helen served and advanced the Church significantly in her day, and in a way stands at the intersection of Orthodoxy, Greece, Byzantium, and the history of Western Europe.