Saint Anastasius I
Born: 4th Century, Rome, Italy
Feast Day: 19th December (Originally celebrated 27th April)
Saint Anastasius was born in Rome during the 4th Century around 330, his father’s name was Maximus. Not much is known about his early life, other than he was prayerful and obedient even when he was young. He was not interested in material things as an adult. At some point he must have married and had at least one child, it appears he was widowed at a young age. He became Pope on 27th November 399, succeeding Pope Saint Siricius and was immediately involved in the turmoil resulting from the writings of Origen which were founded on hypothesis at the time – some of which appeared to go against Christian teaching. Saint Anastasius convened a synod to condemn the works and much or Origen’s works were burnt, although later synods suggest this was unnecessary.
Anastasius fought against the heresy of Donatism who claimed that the validity of the sacraments depended on the moral character of the minister, and that sinners could not be members of the Church, and could not be tolerated by a true Church unless their sins were secret. Donatism was banned and disappeared not long after.
Anastasius was friends with Saint Augustine of Hippo, Saint Jerome and Saint Paulinas of Nola. He supported Saint Jerome’s work of translating Scriptures into Latin taking a stand against Rufinus of Aquilea’s more allegorical translation. He died in 402 of natural causes and was succeeded by his own son Innocent I.