Roman soldiers Sergius and Bacchus died in 303AD and were later beatified by the Catholic Church – they’re now considered to be the only pair of ‘gay Saints’. Today, October 7, is the day to honour them.
The pair (pictured) lived in ancient Syria and were inseparable. In a strange reversal of today’s culture, they were open as a gay couple but secretly Christian, modern historians suggest.
“For refusing to enter the Temple of Jupiter with fellow officers to make offerings there, they were stripped of their military garb and then humiliated by being paraded in heavy chains through the streets dressed in women’s clothing,” says the website honouring the Sainted duo.
“In prison, while singing and praying, they were visited by angels who comforted them. Calling each other ‘brother’, they claimed that in their ‘union’ they became as one, as well as at one with Christ.”
Before Sergius was beheaded, Bacchus, who had been killed first, appeared to him as an angel wearing military garb, their legend tells. “He urged Sergius not to give up because they would be reunited in heaven as lovers.”
Later, the tomb of Saint Sergius became a famous shrine “and was honoured by great gatherings of Christians because of the frequent miracles there.”
During the Middle Ages, the story of the two Saints were held up as examples of brotherly love and companionship. Many modern historians now imagine they were in a gay relationship, but this conclusion is, of course, controversial.