Book of Saints – Seven Sleepers


(Saints) (July 27) (3rd century) Saint Gregory of Tours, a historian of the sixth century, gives the accepted tradition concerning these Saints. They were Christians of Ephesus, victims of the persecution under Decius (A.D. 250). They had taken refuge in a cavern at the base of a hill, and in place of being beheaded were walled up therein to die of hunger. In the time of the Emperor Theodosius (more than a hundred years later) a heresy had arisen denying the Resurrection of the body. The tradition is that by chance the cavern of the Martyrs was then rediscovered and opened. Whereupon, the Seven Saints came forth, gave public testimony to that article of Faith, and returned to their restingplace, thus passing for ever from this world. It is added that on a leaden plate, in or near the cave, were found their names and the date of their martyrdom. The names are: Maximian, Marcus, Martinianus, Dionysius, John, Serapion and Constantine. Many further developments of the story of the Seven Sleepers were later introduced, and several rival accounts; but in one form or another it obtained universal credence. Even Mahomet introduced a myth borrowed from it into his Koran. The Greeks and all other Eastern Churches note the Seven Sleepers in their Catalogues of Saints.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “Seven Sleepers”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 July 2014. Web. 4 August 2021. <>