Church of Serbia – November 2016
The Martyr Anastasia the Roman lost her parents in infancy, and was then taken to be reared by the abbess of a women’s monastery, named Sophia. She raised Anastasia in fervent faith, in the fear of God and obedience.
The persecution against Christians by the emperor Decius (249-251) began at that time. 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.”
The saint 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 and disgusting treatment of the saint, became indignant, and the ruler was compelled to end the tortures by beheading the martyr. In this manner, St Anastasia received the crown of martyrdom.
The body of the saint was thrown out beyond 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 find St Anastasia’s mutilated body. With the help of two Christians, she buried it in the earth.