King Kostandianos (Constantine) was born in the city of Nish, in the former Yugoslavia. He is one of the most prominent figures of the Roman Empire. It was he who officially released the Church from persecutions lasting more than 250 years and in 313 A.D. By the Encyclical of Milan he proclaimed Christianity to be a permitted religion. It was during the period of his reign that the first Ecumenical Council of 325 A.D. was convened, which condemned Arius (and Arianism) and adopted the word “Birth” to show that the Holy Son has the same nature as the Holy Father and is God. King Kostandianos supported the construction of magnificent Churches and Cathedrals in the Holy Sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
King Kostandianos was also a renowned and successful captain in battle. According to tradition, before the decisive battle against the imposter, King Maxentios, he had the vision of the Holy Cross. With the sign of the Holy Cross he faced the battle and won. King Kostandianos passed away in 337 A.D, and at death’s door he was baptised according to the Christian rite.
Queen Helena (Heghineh), mother of the King Kostandianos, supported the king’s pious activity. The discovery of the wooden Holy Cross, is ascribed to the Queen. In 327AD, the Queen, who was in her mid seventies, set out on a long journey to Jerusalem with the primary intention of finding the actual Cross upon which Jesus Christ had been crucified. Following a series of inquiries, with the help of a local Jew named Judas in Golgotha (where Christ was crucified), the Cross was discovered, and the authenticity of the relic was tested by a miracle.
When the Cross was unearthed, two other crosses were found in the same place. Jesus was crucified with two thieves, and when the three crosses were discovered side by side, it raised questions about which was the True Cross. Just then, a funeral procession was passing by. The procession was stopped, and the corpse of the deceased was placed upon the first cross. Nothing happened. The corpse was then placed upon the second cross. Again, nothing happened. Finally, the corpse was placed upon the third cross which happened to be the True Cross. Immediately, the deceased came back to life having touched the very wood upon which Jesus had been crucified.
After that miracle, Judas Cyriacus is converted to Christianity and later becomes a bishop of Jerusalem. After the discovery of the Holy Cross, Heghineh renovated the Holy Places of Jerusalem and built the Church of Holy Resurrection of Golgotha, where later the Lord’s cross was installed.
Queen Heghineh (Helena) passed away in 330 A.D.