St’s. Maximian, Malchus, Martinian, Danesius (Dionysius), John, Serapion and Constantine – “The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”
(Died AD 250)
During the reign of the Roman Emperor Decius (249-251), Christianity was prohibited and Christians persecuted. Among the many who were arrested and refused to give up their faith, were seven young men often referred to as “The Seven Sleepers”.
The men, St’s Maximian, Malchus, Martinian, Dionysius, John, Serapion and Constantine, hid in a cave and died or were buried in the cave. Some accounts suggest the Emperor had the cave sealed as they hid for their refusal to relinquish their faith; others that they were tortured, martyred and their bodies placed in the cave.
In AD479, their relics were discovered and possibly taken to Marseilles in a stone coffin. A replica stone in the Museum Victorium at Rome depicts how the Saints may have died or some of the tools used to torture them. The stone images show two clubs close to Constantine and John, a knotty club near Maximian, two axes near Malchus and Martinian, a burning torch near Serapion and a nail near Danesius. All images are of young men devoid of beards. Indeed, some writings refer to them as boys.
Their Feast Day is the 27th July.
St’s Maximian, Malchus, Martinian, Dionysius, John, Serapion and Constantine:
Pray for us that we will remain firm in our faith as we await our glorious and eternal reunion with our Lord.
Glory be to the…