- People of the Cave
- The Seven Sleepers
A group of seven young Christian men who hid in a cave in hopes of avoiding the persecution of Decius in the year 250. Found and arrested, they were ordered by the pro-consul in Ephesus to renounce their faith; they refused, and were sentenced to die. Legend says that they were walled up in their hiding cave, guarded by the dog Al Rakim; when the cave wall was breached in 479 – they all woke up!
It is likely that the youths were tortured to death in various ways and buried in the cave. The resurrection story confusion came from the phrase “went to sleep in the Lord” which was used to describe the death of Christians, and 479 is when their relics were discovered. Their names were
- 250 in Ephesus (in modern Turkey); tradition says that they were walled up in a cave to suffocate, but other records indicate that they were tortured to death in various ways
- relics discovered in 479
- relics translated to Marseilles, France and enshrined in a large stone coffin
- “Seven Sleepers of Ephesus“. Saints.SQPN.com. 2 July 2014. Web. 21 September 2014. <>