Valeri | Valerius

  • Orthodox Remembrance Day: March 9

Valeri (Valerius) was among the revered group known as the 40 martyrs of Sebaste. These courageous individuals were Christian soldiers from the Legio fulminata, also known as the Legion of Thunder, stationed in Melitene, which corresponds to present-day Battalgazi near Malatya. Their fateful ordeal took place during the reign of Emperor Licinius when they were condemned to death by frostbite.

The cruel decree entailed forcing the 40 soldiers to endure the frigid elements while standing naked on a frozen pond during a bitterly cold winter night. Remarkably, only one of the soldiers renounced his faith and managed to escape, while the lifeless bodies of the remaining martyrs were later cremated.

The sheer number of martyrs and the brutal nature of their demise gave rise to a rich tapestry of legends surrounding their collective sacrifice. Among these legends, one particularly noteworthy figure is the officer Kandidus. Additionally, historical evidence points to the existence of a slave named Eunoikos, whose name has been recorded in lists associated with the 40 martyrs. These accounts suggest that the early process of Christianization had an impact on the local population, likely influenced by the presence of these soldiers who shared their faith.

The profound devotion and unwavering faith exhibited by the 40 martyrs of Sebaste continue to inspire reverence and serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of Christianity. Their selfless sacrifice and steadfast commitment to their beliefs have left an indelible mark on the history of Christian martyrdom.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. AO: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” ( and Joachim Schäfer: Artikel Aaron, aus dem Ökumenischen Heiligenlexikon –