She was probably born in Drepanum (afterwards re-named ''Helenopolis'') on the Gulf of [[Nicomedia]] and allegedly the daughter of an innkeeper. Later legend, mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth, claimed that she was a daughter of Briton King Coel, who married her off to Constantius Chlorus I to avoid more war between the Britons and
[[Rome ]]. Monmouth further states that she was brought up in the manner of a queen, as she had no brothers to inherit the throne of Britain.
Constantius Chlorus divorced her (''circa'' 292) to marry the step-daughter of Maximian, Theodora. Helen's son Constantine later became emperor of the Roman Empire, and following his elevation she became a presence at the imperial court.
She is considered by the Church to be a [[saint]], and is famed for her piety. [[Eusebius of Caesarea]] records the details of her [[pilgrimage]] to Palestine and other eastern provinces. She is traditionally credited with the finding of [[relics]] of the [[cross]] of [[Jesus Christ|Christ]], and with finding the remains of the [[Magi|Three Wise Men]], which currently reside in the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral.