The 20th Day of the Blessed Month of Mesra
Martyrdom of the Seven Young Men of Ephesus
On this day, of the year 252 A.D., the seven holy young men of the city of Ephesus: Maximus, Malchus, Martinianus, Dionysius, John, Serpion and Constantine, were martyred. They were soldiers of Emperor Decius, who appointed them to guard the royal treasury. When the emperor established the worship of idols, certain men made accusation against them. They hid themselves in a cave, lest they become weakened and deny the Lord Christ. When the emperor knew that, he ordered the blocking of the cave's entrance, shutting them in. One of the soldiers was a believer in the Lord Christ. He engraved their life story on a tablet of brass and left it inside the cave. Thus the seven holy young men delivered up their pure souls. God wanted to honor them as His faithful servants, so He inspired the bishop of Ephesus about the place of the cave. The Bishop went and opened the entrance to the cave, and found their bodies uncorrupted. He knew from the brass tablet that they had been there for about two hundred years. That was during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Less. As they knew also from the coins, which they found with them that they were during the time of emperor Decius, because it had his picture on them.
May their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.