July 23, 2015

Saint Anna of Leukadia

St. Anna of Leukadia [or Leukati] (Feast Day - July 23)


You cast off the shackles holding you captive to the carnal mind,
Without withdrawal Anna no one sees God.

She lived during the time of Emperor Theophilos the Iconoclast (829-842) and was the daughter of a wealthy and prominent family. Anna possessed abundant spiritual beauty but also spiritual gifts, as she concerned herself with seeking a knowledge of the Lord. She inherited the great family fortune on her parents' death, and distributed a portion of this to the poor. But a wicked Hagarene fell in love with this beautiful maiden, and traveled to Constantinople and asked for her hand in marriage, gaining permission to do so from Emperor Basil I the Macedonian (867-886). Anna did not wish to marry him, so he resorted to threats, and with tears Anna prayed to God to be released from this temptation. Indeed, God answered her prayers, and the Hagarene soon died. Anna then entered a church dedicated to the Theotokos, where she devoted herself to the strictest ascetic discipline and prayer, becoming mere flesh and bones. Thus, after fifty years of toil, and after a short illness, she gave up her blessed soul to God. Her honorable relics, buried in a family plot, when uncovered, were found to be incorrupt, exuding a divine fragrance, and worked many and varied miracles.