HELENA, mother of Constantine I
- Helena was born in Illyricum (modern Bosnia/Serbia). She was a STABVLARIA, or tavern girl.
- There she met and married a Roman general, Julius Constantius Chlorus.
- They had a son, Constantine.
- On 1 March 293, Diocletian adopted Galerius as son and Caesar, while Maximian, Diocletian's co-ruler, did the same for his praetorian commander Constantius.
- Part of this arrangement was that Constantius should divorce Helena and marry Theodora, step daughter of Maximian.
- When Constantine came to power in 306, he bestowed upon his mother the title of NOBILISSIMA FEMINA, meaning "Most Noble Lady".
- Helena was probably responsible for Constantine's acceptance of Christianity. She was known to the Christian Church as the discoverer of the True Cross during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and credited with bringing back the Holy Steps from Jerusalem to Rome, where they are today, opposite the Church of John the Lateran.
- She died in 329.