Wife of Constantius Chlorus and Mother of Constantine the Great
237 – 328 B.C.
Saint Helena, wife of Constantius Chlorus and Mother of Constantine the Great. She was a woman of humble origin, became concubine to Constantius and bore him Constantine, about 247 B.C., when she became his wife.
According to the somewhat uncertain history of Helena, she was divorced by Constantius when he became Cæsar, in 292, so that he might marry another.
In 306 B.C. Constantine succeeded his father, recalled his mother to the court, and it is probable that she became a Christian through Constantine’s influence. She won the gratitude of the Christian community by her zeal for the advancement of religion and her acts of piety and munificence.
Among the public events of her life the most remarkable is the discovery (according to the beliefs of the Church) of the cross of the Lord during the memorable visit she made to the Holy Land in 326 B.C. The church said to have been built by her at Bethlehem still stands. Her festival is celebrated in the Latin Church on August 18.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.