The type of a lovely woman, patient and hopeful, strong in feeling,
and sustained through trials by her enduring and heroic faith. (Shakespeare: All's Well that Ends Well.)
(St.). Mother of Constantine the Great. She is
represented in royal robes, wearing an imperial crown, because she was
empress. Sometimes she carries in her hand a model of the Holy
Sepulchre, an edifice raised by her in the East; sometimes she bears a
large cross, typical of her alleged discovery of that upon which the
Saviour was crucified; sometimes she also bears the three nails by
which He was affixed to the cross.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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