The Martyr Babylas and 84 disciples with him suffered in the city of Nicomedia for confessing Christianity during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). The emperor, who was then in Nicomedia, renewed the persecution against Christians.
Like many other believers, St Babylas was denounced as someone who was instructing children in Christian piety. When Babylas was brought before the emperor, and after his confession of faith in the true God, he was given over to many torments.
During his sufferings the holy martyr cried to God, “I thank You, O Lord, that You have made me, who am old and infirm, to be young and strong.” After being pelted with stones, he was clapped in irons and they took him to prison.
Then the saint ‘s young disciples were brought before the emperor. Neither flattery nor promise of gifts were able to alter the Christian convictions of the children. Two of them, Ammonias and Donatus, firmly declared, “We are Christians, and we will not offer sacrifice to deaf and dumb devils.”
The emperor flew into a rage over the unexpected and firm rebuke from the children. At first, he ordered them to be whipped, and later to be put to death by beheading, together with their teacher. On the way to execution, the holy Martyr Babylas quoted Isaiah, “Behold, I and the children which God has given me” (Isaiah 8:18). With spiritual rejoicing, first St Babylas, and then his 84 disciples, received the crown of martyrdom.