Martyrs who died in the great pestilence in Alexandria
February 28, 2023
An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day 28 of February, repeating indefinitely
A violent pestilence laid waste the greatest part of the Roman Empire during twelve years, from 249 to 263. Five thousand persons died of it in one day in Rome, in 262. The pestilence succeeded with such violence that there was not a single house in that great city which entirely escaped it or which had not some dead for whom to mourn. The living appeared almost dead with fear—the heathens so cruel towards their nearest relations that as soon as any of them had caught the contagion, they threw them half dead into the streets and abandoned them without succor; they left their bodies without burial so fearful were they of catching the disease. Many Christians showed a contrary spirit of charity. Regardless of the additional, public danger of being caught during the persecutions of Decius, Gallus and Valerian, many Christians relieved and attended the sick and comforted the dying. They closed their eyes, carried them on their shoulders and laid them out, washed their bodies and decently interred them and soon after shared the same fate themselves; but those who survived still succeeded to their charitable office, which they paid to the very pagans their persecutors.