Pieter van Lint
The True Cross Brings the Young Man Back to Life

Circa 1633-1640
Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo

According to the Vita Cyriaci and the many Western sources that relied on it, St. Helena (in blue) had a Jew named Judas unearth three crosses. To ascertain which of them was the cross of Christ, the Jew touched each one in turn to the body of a young man that was being taken out for burial. The first two crosses effected nothing, but at the touch of the third the youth came back to life.

In the painting Helena wears a crown because she is the mother of the Emperor Constantine. In the background is the Aedicula that Constantine had built to enclose the tomb from which Jesus was believed to have been resurrected.

The Aedicula in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Read more about images of St. Helena.

Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.