Saint Helena

Saint Helen of Constantinople | c. 250 – c. 330 AD

Geoffrey of Monmouth writes in his Historia Regum Britanniae, that Helena was a daughter of the British King Coel (Coel of Camulodunum) who allied with Constantius to avoid more war with Rome. Since she had no brothers to inherit the throne of Britain, she was brought up in the manner of a queen.

Legend says she married the Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus after peace had been restored between her father and the Emperor, who had been besieging his city of Colchester for three years. Their son, born in AD 265, was emperor Constantine the Great.

Helena, (known as Saint Helena) her dates being given as c. AD 255-330. Tradition makes her the daughter of an innkeeper in Bithynia. She was divorced, for political reasons, in AD 292, but when Constantius Chlorus was declared emperor by his army in York, he made her the Empress Dowager.

In AD 312, when toleration was extended to Christianity, she was baptised and in AD 326-328, according to tradition, she undertook a trip to Palestine and the holy places and she discovered the True Cross of Jesus’s crucifixion. She visited Jerusalem and founded basilicas on the Mount of Olives and at Bethlehem.