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ST. ANASTASIA - December 22


Name day of everyone named Anastasia, Asya, Natasha.

St. Anastasia was a Roman lady of noble descent. Her father was an opulent and noble pagan; but her mother, who was a Christian, caused her to be baptized in her infancy, and secretly reared her in sentiments of Christian piety, in which she made great progress.

St. Anastasia had been married to a noble Roman, named Publius, who was a pagan; he loved his wife much, but having discovered her acts of piety, and that she was a Christian, from a loving husband he became a cruel tyrant, confined her to the house, and treated her like a slave. The saint, rejoiced that she could suffer for the love of Jesus Christ. Publius, having been appointed by the emperor ambassador to the King of Persia, gave orders to his domestics that they should maltreat his wife during his absence and that there should be no fear if she would be found dead upon his return. But God ordained that Publius met with an untimely death upon his journey; while the saint, having regained her pious labors in behalf of the prisoners of Jesus Christ.
 
St. Anastasia, inflamed with the love of God, occupied her time in consoling and succoring the Christians, particularly those who were in prison, who she exhorted to suffer for the faith. Having heard of the arrest of her spiritual teacher, St. Chrysogonus, she hurried to his prison, and esteemed herself fortunate in having it in her power to be of service to him in this trial. He had been in prison for one year, during which he instructed his fellow-prisoners who were Christians, and converted many pagans to the fai th. St. Anastasia rendered him such assistance, by reason of her extraordinary works of charity.

St. Chrysogonus, by order of Diocletian on November 24 in the year 303, was beheaded, but St. Anastasia continued her mission to the prisoners. She was arrested and brought before the prefect of the region, who got no satisfaction from her defence and so then he sent her to the emperor Diocletian. Diocletian was unsuccessful in exhorting her to abandon a religion which was proscribed thoroughout the empire, and so sent her back to the prefect Florus. He sent her to the pontiff of the capitol, in the hope that he could convince her to sacrifice to the gods.

The authorities shut her up in prison, with the intention of starving her; but the Lord miraculously preserved her life. Florus transferred her to another prison thinking the jailer had transgressed his orders to starve her - but she continued to live without food. Florus then ordered her to be put on board a ship which was bored with holes and was supposed to sink. The ship soon filled with water, but instead of sinking went ashore; and the miracle worked the conversion of all these persons, who afterwards had the glory of suffering martyrdom for Jesus Christ. St. Anastasia was conducted to the island of Palmarola, under sentence of death; she consummated her triumph in the flames.

Her relics were later transferred Constantinople, and placed, in the celebrated church of the Resurrection, called The Anastasia.