The True Cross is the name for those physical remnants and the subject of those literary records which, by a widely accepted Christian tradition, are believed to be those of the cross upon which, according to the Gospel writers, Jesus was crucified.
According to a number of early writers, the Empress Helena, (c.255- c.330 AD), mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, at a date after 312 AD when Christianity was legalized throughout the Empire, traveled to the Holy Land, founding churches and establishing relief agencies for the poor. It was at this time that she discovered the hiding place of three crosses used at the crucifixion of Jesus and the two thieves that were executed with him. By a miracle it was revealed which of the three was the True Cross. This article details the records, the legends and the traditions associated with the True Cross.
Many churches now possess fragmentary remains which are by tradition claimed to be those of the True Cross. Their authenticity is not universally accepted by those of the Christian faith. The veracity of the reports surrounding the discovery of the True Cross is questioned by many Christians. The acceptance and belief of that part of the tradition that pertains to the Early Christian Church is generally accepted by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.