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July 27


Saint of the day:
Ephesus: The Legend of the Seven Sleepers

National Sleepy Head Day in Finlad

The Story of Ephesus: The Legend of the Seven Sleepers

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, the heroes of a famous legend that, because it affirmed the resurrection of the dead, had a lasting popularity in all Christendom and in Islam during the Middle Ages. According to the story, during the persecution of Christians (250 CE) under the Roman emperor Decius, seven (eight in some versions) Christian soldiers were concealed near their native city of Ephesus in a cave to which the entry was later sealed. There, having protected themselves from being forced to do pagan sacrifices, they fell into a miraculous sleep. During the reign (408–450 CE) of the Eastern Roman emperor Theodosius II, the cave was reopened, and the Sleepers awoke. The emperor was moved by their miraculous presence and by their witness to their Christian doctrine of the body’s resurrection. Having explained the profound meaning of their experience, the Seven died, whereupon Theodosius ordered their remains to be richly enshrined, and he absolved all bishops who had been persecuted for believing in the Resurrection.

A pious romance of Christian apologetics, the legend is extant in several versions, including Greek, Syriac, Coptic, and Georgian. Western tradition calls the Seven Sleepers Maximian, Malchus, Marcian, John, Denis, Serapion, and Constantine. Eastern tradition names them Maximilian, Jamblichus, Martin, John, Dionysius, Antonius, and Constantine.

Their feast day is July 27 in the Roman Catholic Church (now suppressed) and August 2/4 and October 22/23 in the Greek Orthodox Church.




The Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Ephesus, Turkey







  • 2 cups (250 g) plain flour, unbleached

  • 2 cups (250 g) wholemeal flour

  • pinch of salt

  • vegetable oil


  • 2 cups (450 g) grated feta cheese or

  • 2 cups (200 g) finely chopped spinach leaves

  • ½ cup (50 g) chopped fresh mint leaves

  • ½ cup (50 g)chopped flat leaf parsley

  • ½ cup (80 g) chopped green onion

  • ½ cup (80 g) diced white onion

  • 1 tsp (5 g) white pepper

  • 1 tsp (5 g) allspice

  • 1 tsp (5 g) dried oregano

  • 1 tsp (5 g) dried sage


  1. Sift the flours and salt and mix with 1 ½ cups (210 ml) of water in an electric mixer with a dough hook or knead by hand for at least ten minutes.

  2. Keep adding more water a little at a time until you get a very pliable, elastic dough that is easy to knead, but not so watery that it is too sticky to handle.

  3. Dust frequently with the extra flour.

  4. Allow the dough to stand, covered, overnight (at least 10 hours).

  5. When ready to cook, divide the dough into six round portions. Dust with flour.

  6. Roll one of the rounds flat with a rolling pin on a flour-dusted surface, into a rectangle shape, as thinly as possible.

  7. Brush on a little oil, then fold over into a square. Fold over twice more into a square. Repeat the dusting, rolling out to a large rectangle, folding, oiling, dusting process three more times.

  8. Repeat the entire process for each of the six rounds

  9. Take one of the folded dough squares and roll it out very thinly for the final time, into a large square. Sprinkle on the filling sparingly – – as you would for a pizza topping but on half of the square only.

  10. Start with a layer of cheese. Mix the spinach, mint, green onion and parsley together in a bowl, and add some of this as the next layer. Mix together the white onion, spices, and dried herbs, and add some as a final topping.

  11. Fold over the uncovered half of the square to cover the filling. Press down lightly all over.

  12. Cook on a pre-heated oiled heavy skillet (cast iron if possible). Make sure the skillet is not too hot.  It takes about 10 minutes to cook everything through. Turn them often until the outside is golden and crisp.

  13. Cut into smaller squares and serve with lemon wedges.

  14. Yield 6.

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