Saint Ananias, Saint Azarias and Saint Misael (Seventh Century B.C.)

These were the three handsome and royal Jewish boys (the Babylonian names were Sidrach, Abdenago and Misach) who, during the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews, which lasted from 606 B.C. to 536 B.C., as companions of the great prophet Daniel, by command of the King Nabuchodonosor were asked to eat forbidden food and adore a golden statue.  When they refused, they were thrown into a fiery furnace, which had no power to destroy them.  It was they who composed, while in the midst of the flames, the beautiful canticle found in the third chapter of the prophet Daniel which the Catholic Church still sings and recites, and which begins, “Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and worthy to be praised and glorified and exalted above all forever.”  Saint Ananias, Saint Azarias and Saint Misael are popularly known as “the three young men in the fiery furnace.”

Byzantine icon of Saints Ananias, Azarias and Misael, Schola Sainte Cécile