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Death: ~309


In 309 five Egyptian Christians journeyed to the mines of Cilicia (south central Turkey) to visit their fellow Christians toiling there as slave laborers, condemned by the pagan Roman authorities to spend the rest of their lives underground. Afterward, as the five men, Elias, Jeremy, Isaias, Samuel, and Daniel, were on their way back to Egypt, they were stopped and questioned by Roman guards at Caesarea, Palestine (near Hadera, Israel). Upon confessing their Christian identity and the reason for their journey, they were arrested and tortured on a rack. The Roman governor then interrogated the men, asking Elias what their native country was. Elias answered, "Jerusalem," meaning not the earthly city, but rather the heavenly Jerusalem. The governor thereupon ordered Elias to be tortured further and all five men to be beheaded. A young man named Porphyry who protested that the martyrs deserved a decent burial was promptly arrested, found to be a Christian, and put to death by fire. Added to these martyrs was an onlooker named Seleucus, who was overheard praising Porphyry's constancy. He was immediately beheaded.


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