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Memory of Holy Youths “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

The Orthodox Church commemorates today, on the 4th of August, Saint John the Younger, Martyrs Ia and 9,000 with her in Persia, as well as the Holy Seven Youths in Ephesus (Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus and Antoninus) who woke up from a long sleep.

In the middle of the 3rd century AD, the emperor Decius tortured and killed, without any discrimination, young and old Christians. At that time, the seven youth did not want to deny their faith in the Trinity, so after previously giving away their possessions to the poor, left the city and hid in a cave, until the persecution ceased.

But as the danger was approaching, they prayed to the Holy Spirit, and if God allows it, they asked to take their souls so that they would not fall alive into the hands of Decius. God heard their prayers and recognized their pure intentions. So, after going to bed at night, they did not wake up in the morning.

194 years later, under Theodosius the Younger, a sect proclaimed in Ephesus that there would be no resurrection of the dead. At that time, the youngest of the 7 Youth of Ephesus bought bread with a coin used in the time of Decius. They arrested him at once. This was not surprising. After interrogating him, they went to the cave and found the other six youth alive.

Then, everyone understood that it was a miracle and a true intervention of God, and, therefore, even people who were doubting at first finally believed that the resurrection of the dead and the Second Coming were real facts. Christians believe and confess in the Creed, which affirms the resurrection of the dead.

Source: Church of Cyprus

Orthodox Times

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