Coptic Date: 1 Paope
On this day was the martyrdom of St. Anastasia. This fighter was a native of Rome, the daughter of Christian parents who raised her well and taught her the Christian manners and doctrines of the church. When she grew up, her parents wanted her to get married, but she did not agree with them because she had forsaken the worthless world and its lusts. She instead had chosen to lead a spiritual life and had longed for the heavenly glories since her young age. She entered one of the convents of the virgins in Rome and she put on the monastic garb. She subdued her body with asceticism and abstemiousness, and she did not eat food except once every two days. During the holy fast of the forty days she ate only on Saturdays and Sundays after the prayer of the sixth hour of the day. Her food during all the days of the monastic life was dry bread and salt.
It came to pass that some of the convent virgins nearby the monastery where this saint was staying were celebrating a feast. The abbess took her with some of the virgins, and went to join the celebration of that feast. As they were going, St. Anastasia saw the soldiers of Emperor Decius the infidel torturing some Christians and dragging them. Her heart became inflamed with divine love and she shouted At them saying, 'O you hard-hearted men, is that what you do to those whom God created in His own form and image and for whom he gave Himself?' One of the soldiers seized her and brought her to the governor who asked her saying, 'Is it true that you are a Christian, worshipping Him who was crucified?' And she confessed the truth and did not deny it. He inflicted her with severe tortures, then he crucified her and had a fire lighted under her, but it did not harm her. When she did not give up her faith because of these pains, he commanded that her head and the swordsman cut off her neck and received the crown of martyrdom.
May her blessings be upon us all and Glory be to God forever. Amen.