St. Anastasia the Roman
Commemorated on October 29
The Martyr Anastasia the Roman lost her parents in infancy, and was reared by the abbess of a women’s monastery named Sophia. She raised Anastasia in the fear of God and obedience.
At this same time, the persecution of Christians by Emperor Decius (249-251) was taking place. The city administrator, Probus, on the orders of the emperor, commanded that Anastasia be brought to him. Blessed by her abbess to suffer for Christ, the young martyr Anastasia humbly came out to meet the armed soldiers. Seeing her youth and beauty, Probus first attempted flattery to make her deny Christ – “Why waste your youth, deprived of pleasure? What is there to gain by enduring tortures and death for the Crucified? Worship our gods, marry a handsome husband, and live in glory and honor.” Anastasia steadfastly replied, “My spouse, my riches, my life and my happiness are my Lord Jesus Christ, and you will not turn me away from Him by your deceit!”
Probus subjected Anastasia to fierce tortures. The holy martyr bravely endured them, glorifying and praising the Lord. In anger the torturers cut out her tongue. The people, seeing the inhuman treatment of the saint, became angry, and Probus was compelled to end the tortures by beheading the martyr. Thus, St. Anastasia received the crown of martyrdom.
Her body was thrown outside the city to be eaten by wild animals, but the Lord did not permit her holy relics to be dishonored. At the command of a holy angel, Abbess Sophia went to look for St Anastasia’s mutilated body. With the help of two Christians, she buried it in the earth.
Troparion (Tone 4) –
Your lamb Anastasia, calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
"I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
for I have offered myself in love."
Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.
Kontakion (Tone 3) –
Purified by the waters of virginity,
righteous Anastasia, you were crowned by the blood of martyrdom.
You grant healing and salvation to those in need,
and who call on you from their hearts,
for Christ gives you strength, pouring out on you ever-flowing grace!
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)