Born: 3rd Century
Feast Day: 25th December (22nd December in Orthodox Churches)
Patron Saint: Martyrs, Weavers, Widows, Those suffering from Poisoning
Shrine: Cathedral of Anastasia, Zadar, Italy.
Also known as: Anastasia of Sirmium
Symbols in Art: Palm Branch, Bowl of Fire (West), Martyrs Cross, Medicine Pot (East)
Saint Anastasia was born during the 3rd Century when persecutions of Christians were prevalent. Her mother was a secret Christian, her a father a wealthy noble pagan. Anastasia’s mother secretly had Anastasia baptised and brought her up as a Christian. One of her teachers was Saint Chysogonus.
Anastasia was married off to Publius, a noble Roman pagan, after the death of her mother. Initially, he loved his wife, treating her well but then, discovering her Christian ways, he confined her to the house and treated her like a slave.
Publius was appointed Ambassador to the King of Persia, he gave permission to his servants to continue to mistreat Anastasia, while he was away, however, on his journey, he was drowned. Anastasia was free to help the poor and suffering, as a Christian.
She spent a lot of time at the prisons helping Christian prisoners, jailed for nothing more than their faith. She healed many of poisoning and dressed wounds, ransoming those she could.
After the arrest of Saint Chrysogonus, Anastasia, did what she could to help him as he evangalised to the pagans in prison, until he was by headed on the order of Diocletian, on 24th November 303.
Anastasia continued her mission to the prisoners but one day discovered that all the holy confessors had been brutally murdered on the order of the Emperor. As she wept, officers of the court asked her why she was crying. She replied that the brethren had been cruelly murdered. In turn she was arrested and taken to the prefect Florus and then on to Diocletian, who tried to get her to abandon Christianity.
She was sent to the Upian, principle priest of the Capitol, he told her that he would give her three days to reform, she replied that she would happily die for Jesus Christ so three days was too long. He then tried using three idolatrous women to persuade her and finally he tried to sexually assault her. Upian immediately was blinded and died a few days later.
Florus enraged at the death of Upian, threw Anastasia in prison with the intention of starving her to death but the Lord preserved her life. He moved her to a different prison, assuming the jailer had not starved her, but the same thing happened. Florus then ordered her onboard a ship with 120 other people who he had chosen to sacrifice to the Gods. The ship was supposed to sink, having had multiple holes bored into it. It filled with water but found its way ashore. This miracle converted all those on board.
She was finally burnt on the Island of Palmarola. A Christian lady took her remains and buried them in Zara. About 460, the relics were transferred to the Church of the Resurrection in Constantinople.