Anastasia was a Christian Saint who was a martyr in Sirmium, Rome. She was a Roman woman of noble descent. She is remembered and revered by the church as an exorcist and healer. Her mother secretly baptized her in her infancy and was brought up with staunch Christian ideals. Anastasia was married to a pagan named Publius Patricius, who tormented her on knowing that she followed Christianity. She had to endure the torture and suffering till he died. St. Anastasia was known for healing sick people from the ill-effects of potions, poisons and other harmful substances through her prayers. Her actions brought her fame that spread far and wide. Eventually, she was tortured and burned to death under the persecutions of the Diocletian. She was only recognized in the fifth century for her nobility. Her remains lie in the church built in her honor. Every year, on December 22nd, people celebrate St. Anastasia's day. Read on to know more about the Christian Saint, Anastasia of Sirmium.
The Christian Saint
Anastasia of Sirmium is also known as the 'Great Martyr Anastasia', the 'Deliverer from Potions' and 'Anastasia the Healer'. In Greece, Anastasia is popularly known as 'the Pharmakolitria'. The name 'Anastasia' means resurrection. A Roman citizen of Patrician rank, Anastasia was looked upon as a healer and an exorcist by the church. She is one of seven women, whose name is mentioned in the 'Canon of the Mass'. According to one legend, Anastasia was the pupil of St. Chrysogonus. She was not honored or acclaimed till the fifth century.
Anastasia was from Rome and belonged to a wealthy family. Her father Praepextatus was a Pagan but her mother Fausta, was Christian. Anastasia was born around 280 AD. She was known to be beautiful and virtuous in every way. Without the knowledge of her father, her mother baptized her, when she was an infant. Fausta secretly educated Anastasia to follow the path of Christianity and was raised with Christian values. When her mother passed away, Anastasia's father got her married to Publius Patricius, who was also of Pagan faith. Publius was a loving husband to Anastasia until he discovered that she believed in Christ. So, he tortured her and was confined to the house as a slave. Even though she was tormented, she was delighted that she could suffer in the name of Jesus Christ. Fortunately, she had to tolerate these abuses for only a short period of time, as Publius had drowned to his death.
Anastasia became a young widow after Publius's death and she never remarried. She spent her time helping the poor, treating the sick and provided the prisoners with whatever they needed every day. Anastasia would clean the wounds of injured people and would provide solace to those who were in agony. She was so gifted that she could heal and save many from the ill-effects of potions, evil spells, poisons and other dangerous elements through her interventions and prayers. These actions gained her the title, 'Deliverer from Potions'.
The news of her good deeds and the miracles that she performed spread far and wide. She became so reputed in such short time that she was arrested under the persecutions of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor. She was tortured in the toughest manner. On a voyage by ship with other prisoners, she was miraculously saved from drowning by St. Theodata. Although, she reached the Island of Palmaria safely, she was burned to death soon after. She died in 304 AD.
During the fifth century, her remnants were moved from Constantinople to the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar, Croatia, which was constructed in her memory. This church that was dedicated to Anastasia the Saint was where St. Andrew, the 'Fool-for-Christ' was brought and cured of his foolishness. It is believed that St. Anastasia appeared in his dream and encouraged him to carry on his life as an ascetic person. A few years later, St. Anastasia's head and one of her arms were relocated to the Monastery of St. Anastasia, the Pharmakolitria, in Chalkidiki, Greece. Anastasia of Sirmium was a respected and loved Saint and in her honor, many women were named after her. She is venerated every year during the second Mass on Christmas by the Roman Catholic Church. St. Anastasia's Day is also dedicated to her and is celebrated on December 22nd annually on the Orthodox Church calendar.
St. Anastasia of Sirmium is revered and honored for her compassion toward the poor, the sick and the tormented. She was tortured, imprisoned and burnt alive for having immense faith in Christianity. In her memory, a feast is held during the second mass on Christmas Day.
Anastasia was a Christian Saint and martyr who died in Sirmium. Read on to know more about Anastasia of Sirmium.