20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia

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Miniature from the Menologion of Basil II honoring the Martyrs of Nicomedia

The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia refers to victims of persecution of Christians in Nicomedia by the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in the early 4th century AD.

According to various martyrologies and menologion, the persecution included the burning of a church that held numerous Christians on Christmas Day. The Roman Martyrology reports four groups of martyrs from that time.

The number 20,000 may be apocryphal.[1] However, the martyrs of Nicomedia continue to be honored with feast days:[1] they are commemorated on 28 December in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and by the Byzantine Catholic and Latin Rite Catholic Churches.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Michael J. Walsh (30 July 2007). A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. Liturgical Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-0-8146-3186-7. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "The 20,000 Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia". St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 

Orthodox Church in America, 28 December