In the church calendar, March 22 has several names: the day of the Forty Martyrs, the Great Martyrs of Sebastien, the day of All Saints or the Forty Saints.

People call this day "Larks".

When is the Feast of the Forty Saints in 2023: History

All Saints' Day always falls on

March 22


In 2023, it will be



According to church traditions, forty soldiers were the best wife in the army of the ancient Roman emperor Lykinius.

He was a violent pagan and tried to get rid of the Christian faith.

All forty martyrs from the legion refused to renounce Christianity, for which they died in the city of Sevastia (now Sivas, Turkey) in 320.

In order to force them to renounce Christianity, forty soldiers were taken to Lake Sebastien, which was then covered with ice, stripped and flooded the bathhouse on the shore, thus increasing the torment of the men.

One soldier could not bear the suffering, went ashore and went to the bathhouse, where he immediately died.

But forty of them still remained, because one of the overseers saw a vision and went into the lake, undressed himself, with the words "I am a Christian!".

On the day of commemoration of the forty martyrs, the Church also relaxes the strict rules of Great Lent, allowing to drink wine and eat fish.

Who is included in the list of forty saints:

Cyrion, Candides, Domnius, Hesychius, Heraclius, Smaragdes, Eunoicus, Valens, Vivian, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Eutychius, John, Xantius, Ilian, Sisinius, Ogius, Aetius, Flavius, Acacius, Ecdycius .

All Saints' Day: what not to do

On March 22, the Forty Saints, the Church prohibits several things:

  • it is not allowed to eat meat, dairy products, eggs;

  • it is not necessary to work physically, even to clean up life;

  • it is not recommended to borrow money;

  • it is forbidden to sew, wash or repair things.

What to do on Forty Saints

What should be done on Forty Saints?

/ Photo: Pexels

In ancient times, housewives baked lark pies in the shape of birds on the day of Forty Saints.

It is interesting that in different regions of Ukraine these pies were called differently: buslyk, magpie, etc.

Sometimes pies were strung on vines or cutlets, distributed to children, and given to neighbors.

There was a belief that then all poultry would be healthy.

It was also believed that on this day all birds return from warm countries.

And on March 22, the girls were engaged in divination for the future, in particular, they performed rites for the call of spring.

In order to quickly drive away winter, the girls had to break forty wooden twigs and tear forty threads.

Believers necessarily visited the temple, lit forty candles and prayed, thanking God and bowing forty times.

Also, it was on this day that our ancestors began to make plans and dream about the future.

It was customary to invite loved ones and relatives to visit: the more there are, the happier the family will be.

There was also a symbolic rite, which was called "to trample the rast".

It was believed that whoever tramples a tree in the spring will be healthy throughout the year.

Therefore, even frail and elderly people went to the field.

At the same time, it was necessary to say: "I'm trampling, I'm trampling the rast. Let, God, let me trample and dig that year."

Feast of the Forty Saints: omens

  • What is the weather like on March 22 - it will be like this for another forty days.

  • Birds have already returned from warm regions and started nesting on the sunny side - wait for a fruitful, but cold summer.

  • It snowed before a very cold Easter week.

  • Precipitation and little sun mean that there will not be many showers in the summer, and the weather will be fine and dry in the fall.

Prayer for the Forty Saints

Oh, holy, glorious forty martyrs of Christ who bravely suffered for Christ in the city of Sevastia.

Having passed through fire and water and, as friends of Christ, entered the peace of the Heavenly Kingdom, sincerely pray to the Holy Trinity for the Christian race, especially for those who honor your holy memory and turn to you in prayers with faith and love.

Beg the All-Generous God for the forgiveness of our sins and the life of our correction, so that, in repentance and sincere love for one another, we may boldly stand at the Last Judgment of Christ and by your prayers stand at the right hand of the Righteous Judge.

Oh, servants of God, be our defenders from all visible and invisible enemies, so that under the cover of your prayers we may be freed for the rest of our lives from all trouble, evil and danger, and thus glorify the great and worthy worship of the all-powerful Trinity: the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit now, and forever, and unto ages of ages.


Read also:

  • Church calendar for March 2023: main dates

  • Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 2023: date, history and traditions