Helena

c.248-c.327. First wife of Constantius and mother of Constantine.* Of humble origin, her relationship with Constantius may have been that of concubinatus and not wife. In any case Maximian required that she should be divorced in favor of his stepdaughter Theodora. Nothing is known of Helena's life during the subsequent reign of Constantius, but after Constantine's accession in 306 she was at his court, where she was greatly honored. Through Constantine she became a Christian and aided by his bounty did great works of charity. In her old age she visited the Holy Land, where her name is associated with the erection of churches on sites connected with Jesus. There is no basis, however, in the tradition either that the Cross was discovered or that it was discovered by her. The place of her death is unknown, but she was probably buried at Constantinople.