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27 July: The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus – proving a nap is good for you!
Do you tend to avoid conflict? When you feel stressed, do you crave sleep? Then the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus would be good patron saints for you. But - you may find it hard to copy their successful method of avoiding trouble!
Legend has it that The Seven Sleepers were third century Christians who lived in Ephesus during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Decius. When things got very bad, the Seven Sleepers decided to ‘go to ground’. Literally. They found a cave on the outskirts of the city and walled themselves in. The story goes that then God simply put them to sleep.
200 years later they woke up, and peeped out of the cave again. Things had changed: Ephesus had converted to Christianity. Unfortunately the Seven Sleepers did not get much time to enjoy the new freedoms, because within a short time they all died – of extreme old age.