Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Forty Holy Martyrs Of Sebaste, Armenia. Feast Day 10 March.

Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

The Forty Holy Martyrs.
Feast Day 10 March.


Red Vestments.

English: The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Ivory Relief Panel. Constantinople. 10th-Century A.D. Museum für Byzantinische Kunst (Inv. no. 574; acquired in 1828;
Bartoldi collection), Bode-Museum, Berlin.
Deutsch: Die vierzig Märtyrer von Sebaste; Elfenbein-Relieftafel; Konstantinopel,
10. Jh. n. Chr. Museum für Byzantinische Kunst (Inv. 574; erworben 1828;
Sammlung Bartoldi), Bode-Museum, Berlin.
Date: 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Photo: AndreasPraefcke.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Under the Emperor Licinius, in 320 A.D., Forty Soldiers of the Garrison of Sebaste, in Armenia, bore glorious testimony to Christ (Epistle). For refusing to sacrifice to idols, they were, out of hatred for the name of Jesus (Gospel), "thrown into prison and tortured in many ways" (Epistle).

At last, they were stripped of their clothes and exposed on a frozen pond. They asked God that "the forty, who entered the lists, might be forty to win the Crown, forty being the number Consecrated by the Fasts of Jesus, Moses, and Elias".

One of them, whose courage failed, threw himself into a bath of tepid water, prepared near by, and perished in it. But their guard, touched by Grace from above, took his place, and there were Forty Martyrs.

English: Forty Martyrs Church
a Bulgarian national cultural monument.
български национален паметник на културата.
Date: 7 June 2007 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from bg.wikipedia
Author: Original uploader was Svik at bg.wikipedia
Attribution: Attribution: Svilen Enev.
(Wikimedia Commons)

When they had expired, their bodies were carried away on chariots, to be burned, all except the youngest, who was still alive and whom they hoped to pervert to the worship of the gods. But his mother, who, above all, was his mother in Christ (Communion) took him in her arms, followed the convoy, and, when her son had breathed his last, she laid him with those who were more than ever his brothers in Jesus (Gospel, Communion).

They were thus united in death as in life, and their Souls entered Heaven together."How pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity ! " (Gradual). The Communion, which alludes to this Charity, is the same as that of The Seven Holy Martyrs And Their Mother, on 10 July.

Let us imitate the fortitude of these Forty Martyrs in the confession of their Faith and not grow slack during the Forty Days of Lent.

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