Day of remembrance of the forty Sevastian martyrs (22/03)

On March 22, the Orthodox Church honors the memory of the forty Martyrs of Sebaste, Christian soldiers from the city of Sevastia (the territory of modern Turkey), who were martyred for their faith in Christ.

In 313, Saint Constantine the Great issued a decree according to which Christians were allowed freedom of religion, and they were equal in rights with pagans. But his co-ruler Licinius was a convinced pagan and in his part of the empire decided to eradicate Christianity, which had spread significantly there. Licinius was preparing for a war against Constantine and, fearing treason, decided to purge his army of Christians.

At that time, in the Armenian city of Sebastia, Agricolaus, an ardent supporter of paganism, served as one of the military leaders. Under his command was a squad of forty Cappadocians, brave warriors who emerged victorious from many battles. All of them were Christians. When the soldiers refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods, Agricolaus imprisoned them. The soldiers indulged in fervent prayer and one night they heard a voice: "He who endures to the end, he will be saved."