After the victory Constantine gained through the power of the Cross
which he had seen in the heavens, and whose sign he reproduced in
the Labarum, St. Helena, his mother, went to Jerusalem to try to
find the true Cross. At the beginning of the second century, Hadrian
had Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre covered over with earth, the top
of which became a terrace of 100 feet in length, where were erected
a statue of Jupiter and a temple of Venus. The Empress had them
razed to the ground, and dug up. The laborers found the nails and
three crosses. The miraculous cure of a woman authenticated the
sacred tree, to which we owe "life, salvation and resurrection".
St. Helena divided the precious wood in three. One part was
deposited in Rome in the church of Holy Cross in Jerusalem. The
second in Constantinople and the third in Jerusalem. This last relic
having been carried off by the Persians and recovered by Heraclius,
this emperor solemnly brought it back to Jerusalem on May 3rd, 628.
Excerpted from Saint Andrew Daily Missal