These holy martyrs suffered at Sebaste, in the Lesser Armenia, under the Emperor Licinius, in 320. They were of different countries, but enrolled in the same troop. This was the twelfth legion, and then quartered in Armenia. Lysias was duke or general of the forces, and Agricola the governor of the province.
The governor, highly offended at their Christianity, and refusal to sacrifice to his gods, devised an extraordinary kind of death, slow and severe, and he hoped this would shake their constancy.
It is customary in Armenia to make forty balls of wheat or bulgar in a dish on this day, to remember these saints and their faith. We have usually made meatballs instead. 🙂
And so we did today ( one day late, but the thought is there!).
In Greece, however, it has apparently been the custom to make dishes with the theme of forty – for example, a pastry dish, with forty layers of phyllo pastry. A nice twist.