These 84 children suffered in Nicomedia with the Martyr Babylas during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305).
St Babylas was denounced for instructing children in Christian piety. He was brought before the emperor, and tortured. 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 their Christian convictions. 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.