- Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922
Today is the day Roman Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. The legend goes that around A.D. 250, these seven Catholic boys fled Ephesus to escape punishment by the Roman Emperor Decius. Seems that Decius passed an idolatrous edict that the good Catholic boys refused to obey. They tried to hide in a cave on Mt. Coelius, but were found and Decius ordered the cave sealed. The boys fell asleep and woke up over 200 years later in 479. Not realizing anything out of the ordinary, they sent one of their group to town for food. The age of the coin that the boy tried to use at the baker's shop aroused suspicion. An investigation was launched and the whole affair was declared a miracle.