Saint Anastasia of Sirmium is popular around the world as the spiritual child of St. Chrysogonus, who is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on December 25 i.e., the day of Christmas. This Christian saint was a martyr who died at Sirmium and is honored in Roman Catholic Churches and Eastern Orthodox Churches as the Great Martyr Anastasia, the 'Deliverer from Potions'. Her legends take you several centuries back, where she was referred to as a Roman or Sirmian born and a Roman citizen of patrician rank. Saint Anastasia is the patron of martyrs, weavers, widows and those suffering from poisoning. She is revered as a healer and exorcist. She is commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass and is among the seven women, not including the Blessed Virgin Mary, who are given immense importance in Christianity. A palm branch, bowl of fire, martyrs cross and a medicine pot are some of her attributes recognized world over. Read on to find out more about her legend.
Born to a noble pagan father and a Christian mother in Rome, Anastasia's birth is recorded in the year 275 A.D. Her mother secretly baptized her daughter and brought her up with Christian beliefs. She became a noble lady very much rooted in her faith in Jesus Christ. But she was married to a pagan named Publius who died an untimely death. He was very cruel to Anastasia and was always angered by her Christian missionary work in the prison. She was then sent to Emperor Diocletian and Pontiff of the Capitol, Upian by Florus the prefect. Both unsuccessfully tried to exhort her from her religion. Upian then approached her with an immodest gesture and the Almighty punished him with death by blindness and seizures. Florus then starved her in a prison but God kept her alive. He then condemned her to the island of Palmarola where she was burnt alive. St Apollonia buried her body near Zara, Dalmatia but her relics were later moved to the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar, Croatia.
Prayer To St. Anastasia
"O Anastasia, Holy martyr, I am near you, help me pray. You who know what I and those near me need; intercede for my urgent needs, my spiritual and material wants. I confide in you and entrust all to your loving care. Offer up to Jesus that tender and constant care that you bore Him here on earth. O Holy Anastasia, you who was martyred for the love of our Lord and faith, I beseech of you the grace to meditate on and live the Passion of Jesus and the sufferings of Holy Mary. Pray that I will be able to walk in the path of humility, simplicity, love and sacrifice, fulfilling at all times, and in all ways, the holy will of God. Let me live united with Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and you, for all eternity. Amen"
Anastasia's life is a lesson that proves that God indeed tests your will in extreme ways. But you will be remembered in this world till eternity, if you manage to pass the test with unbendable faith in him.