St Helena

According to Byzantine historians the empress Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, went to the Holy Land on pilgrimage in 326 to 328 AD. It is claimed that she discovered the hiding place of three crosses that were believed to be used at the crucifixion of Jesus and of two thieves, St. Dismas and Gestas, executed with him, and that a miracle revealed which of the three was the True Cross. The cross was taken to Constantinople where fragments of it were later dispersed, either as diplomatic gifts, or as plunder during the Crusades.

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