320 – Agricola, governor of Armenia, sentences forty soldiers to die on ice for refusing to renounce Christ. They strip off their own clothes, saying, “What is death for us but an entrance into eternal life?”
The cult of the Forty Martyrs is widespread all over the East. The feast day of the Forty Martyrs falls on March 9, and is intentionally placed that it will fall during Great Lent.
Special devotion to the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste was introduced at an early date into the West; their feast day is 10 March.