Today is the celebration of the Holy Forty Martyrs in Sevastia

The Holy Forty Martyrs in Sebastia

All of these were soldiers in the Roman army, but they firmly believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. When persecution broke out, in the time of Licinius, they were brought before the duke in court, and he threatened to take away their military honor. To this one of them, St. Candide, replied: "Take not only the military honor but also the bodies; "Nothing is more pleasing and honorable to us than our God Christ." After this the duke ordered the servants to stone these saints. But when the servants threw stones at them, the stones came back by themselves and fell on those who threw them, so they struck them angrily. A stone fell on the duke in the face and broke his teeth. The tormentors, angry like beasts, tied up the saints and threw them into the lake and set guards around them so that no one would come out of the water. There was strong ice, the lake was freezing around the bodies of the martyrs. To make the torment stronger, the tormentors warmed and lit a bath by the lake near the sufferers, so that those who saw her might somehow succumb and renounce Christ and acknowledge the Roman idols. And indeed, one got angry, got out of the water and went into the hot bath. But at night an unusual light fell from the sky, so they warmed the water in the lake and the bodies of the martyrs, and with this light from the sky thirty-nine wreaths fell on their heads. This was seen by one of the guards on the shore, so he took off his clothes, confessed the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and entered the lake to honor himself with the fortieth wreath of the traitor. That last wreath really came down on him. The next day the whole city was surprised to see the martyrs alive. Then the wicked judges ordered and beat them, and threw their bodies into the water so as not to take the Christians. On the third day the holy martyrs appeared to the local bishop Peter and called him to collect them from the water and to take out their relics. The bishop went out at night in the dark with his clergy, and on the water they saw the relics of the martyrs shining. And every bone that was separated from their bodies floated to the surface and shone like a candle. They were buried honestly. Their souls went to the Lord Jesus, tormented for all of us and resurrected with glory. They suffered honestly and gained immortal fame in 320. Their names are: Cyrion, Candide, Domn, Hesychius, Heraclius, Emerald, Evnoic, Valens, Vivian, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Eutychius, John, Xanthius, Elijah, Sisinius, Angius, Aetius, Filaki, Alavius, Flavius Alexander, Elijah, Gorgon, Theophilus, Dometian, Gaius, Leontius, Athanasius, Cyril, Sacredon, Nicholas, Valerius, Philoctimon, Severian, Hudoion, Meliton, and Aglaius.

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