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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 62



stamped her name on coins, and gave her name to divers towns. Helena was at this period a Christian, whether born in the new religion or a convert does not appear ; nor is it clear that she had anything to do with the conversion of her son. This illustrious and Imperial convert, stained with the blood of his father-in-law, whom he strangled with his own hands, of his son, whom he sacrificed at the lying representations of his wife, and of that wife herself, whom he executed in revenge for the death of his son, was converted, we are informed by some historians, through a perception of the beauty and holiness of the teaching of Christ. Probably he saw in the Cross a magical power by which he could defeat his enemies. It was after the death of Crispus the Cassar, Constantine's son, that Helena, whose heart was broken by the murder of her grandson, went to Jerusalem to visit the sacred spots and witness the fulfilment of prophecy. On her way she delivered captives, relieved the oppressed, rewarded old soldiers, adorned Christian churches, and arrived in the Holy City laden with the blessings of a grateful people. And here she discovered the Cross in the following manner. Led by divine intimation, she instructed her people where to dig for it, and after removing the earth which the heathen had heaped round the spot, she found the Sepulchre itself, and close beside it the three crosses still lying together, and the tablet bearing the inscription which Pilate ordered to be written. The true Cross was picked out from the three by the method commonly pursued at this period, and always attended with satisfactory results. A noble lady lay sick with an incurable disease ; all the crosses were brought to her bedside, and at the application of one, that on which our Lord suffered, she was immediately restored to perfect health. This is the account given by the writers of the following century ; but not one of the contemporary writers relates the story, though Cyril, who was Bishop of Jerusalem from the year 748, alludes to the


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