Flavia Iulia Helena is one of the few early saints that really existed. She must have been an energetic lady into high age. She shared the Roman Emperors penchant for building representative stone piles and went on a spending spree over churches. According to legend, she was one of the first archaeologists and an avid collector of bric-a-brac.Legend had her doing excavating work under the temple of Aphrodite erected by Emperor Hadrian over Golgotha and the Sepulchre. She was credited with finding the Sepulchre and the wood of the true cross. By the time she was leaving Palestine by ship, she had mysteriously acquired the nails as well, and the mummified bodies of the three Magi.
Full story by Lucas Dié:
Helena, Empress and Saint