Commemorated on January 22
Anastasias the Persian was the son of a Persian sorcerer named Babo. As a
pagan, he had the name Magundates and served in the armies of the Persian
emperor Chosroes II, who in a victorious war against the Greeks in 614 ravaged
the city of Jerusalem and carried away to Persia the Life-Creating Cross of the
Lord. Great miracles occurred from the Cross of the Lord, and the Persians were
astonished. The heart of young Magundates blazed up with the desire to learn in
detail more about this sacred object. Asking everyone about the Holy Cross, the
youth learned, that upon it the Lord Himself endured crucifixion for the
salvation of mankind. He became acquainted with the truths of the Christian faith
in the city of Chalcedon, where for a certain while the army of Chosroes was
situated. He was baptised with the name Anastasias, and then accepted
monasticism and dwelt for seven years in monastic works and efforts in one of
the Jerusalem monasteries.
Reading about the
acts of the holy martyrs, Saint Anastasias was inspired with the desire to
imitate them. A mysterious dream in particular urged him to do this, which he
had on Great Saturday, the day before the feast of the Resurrection of Christ.
Having fallen asleep after his daily tasks, he beheld a radiant man, giving him
a golden chalice filled with wine, with the words "take hold and
drink". Driving from the chalice given him, he sensed an inexplicable
delight. Saint Anastasias then perceived that this vision was a portent of his
own martyr's end. He went secretly from the monastery to Palestinian Caesarea.
There they arrested him for being a Christian and brought him to trial. The
governor tried every which way to sway Saint Anastasias into a renunciation of
Christ, threatening him with tortures and death and promising him honours and
earthly blessings. But the saint remained unyielding. Then they subjected him
to torture: they beat at him with canes, they lacerated his knees, they hung
him up by the hands and tied an heavy stone to his feet, they exhausted him
with confinement, and then wore him down with heavy work in the stone-quarry
with other prisoners.
Finally, the governor
summoned Saint Anastasias and demanded he say only the words: "I am not a
Christian", promising him freedom. The holy martyr answered: "Let me
be with this. Neither before thee, nor before others wilt I renounce my Lord,
neither openly nor secretly even in sleep, and no one nowhere and in no way can
compel me to do this while in my right mind". Then by order of the emperor
Chosroes, they strangled the holy Martyr Anastasias (+ 628). After the death of
Chosroes, the relics of the MonkMartyr Anastasias were transferred to
Palestine, to the Anastasias monastery.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.