In this episode of our volunteer-driven research project “Walking The Way with The Saints”, we focus on St. Anastasia, whom we commemorate on October 29 according to the Syriac Orthodox Liturgical calendar. Gabriella Allaf presents us with her research into the life of the martyr and how her example of humility and steadfast faith can inspire us today.
Among the many admirable qualities that St. Anastasia possessed, her loyalty to her faith and strength as a believer shine the brightest. In today’s world where it is easy to give in to distractions from our faith, we should all look to St. Anastasia as an example for her commitment to her faith even through the challenges she experienced.
St. Anastasia was a Roman lady born into a noble family. As a disciple of St. Chrosogonus, Anastasia was raised in the Christian faith. When the Emperor called for persecution of Christians, Anastasia retreated to a nunnery to continue her education in the faith. She was humble and distributed her wealth among the poor and those who were in prison, the confessors and the strivers, for the sake of the faith. When word spread that she was a Christian, she was interrogated by the Minister of the Emperor who tortured her for not giving up her faith. Throughout the many trials and tribulations life put her through, she was consistently steadfast in her faith and no one was able to dissuade her. Even through the physical abuse she was put through, Anastasia did not lose faith. Her life ended at the request of the Emperor and she became a martyress.
We can learn a great deal from St. Anastasia’s perseverance and commitment to her faith in the face of temptation. Time and time again, Anastasia’s faith was challenged by bribes, power, and physical abuse. She was verbally abused and even tortured, and yet her commitment to her faith gave her strength to rise above. I believe Christian youth today can learn much from St. Anastasia’s loyalty to her faith. Today’s youth are faced with distractions from the media and entertainment industry which teaches us to value material wealth and power and to seek validation from others. We should learn from Anastasia and realize that money and fame do not matter in the grand scheme of things; the only person we should seek approval from is God, the Father.
Another important feature of Saint Anastasia’s character which we should learn from is hope. Despite being imprisoned and tortured, Saint Anastasia did not lose hope. She sang our beloved church hymns in her cell to comfort her. Even after her tongue was cut off, she did not lose hope that God was watching over and would take care of her. This is extremely important because in today’s fast-paced world, if something does not come easily to us, we lose hope. However, we should learn from Anastasia to never lose this hope and have faith that God will take care of us in the end.
Saint Anastasia’s life was marked by trials and tribulations, however she persevered and rose above the challenges. She lived a beautiful Christian life and we should look forward to celebrating her memory on October 29th every year.
May the prayers of St. Anastasia the Martyr be with us all, and glory be to God forever. Amen!
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