December 5, 2016

Holy Martyr Anastasios the Fuller at Salona in Dalmatia

St. Anastasios the Fuller (Feast Day - October 25)


For October 25th
What shall I write on your behalf, Anastasios?
Hastening towards Christ's grace you were killed by the sword.

For December 5
Anastasios received fire from God the Word,
Before enemies gave him a speedy death.

Saint Anastasios was born in Aquileia of a good family during the reign of Diocletian (284-311), and becoming a fuller he practiced his trade at Salona in Dalmatia. There he was inspired with divine zeal in his heart, after seeing the Holy Martyrs of Christ and their limbs torn from their bodies for their faith and confession of Christ. Being a Christian, this reminded him of all the good things that awaited them. This inflamed his heart with a desire for martyrdom, so that one day he covered his body with the image of the sign of the honorable Cross and voluntarily presented himself to be martyred. Anastasios, boldly and without fear, cried aloud in the judgment hall before all the pagans the words of the Prophet Isaiah: "I became manifest to them that asked not for me; I was found by those that sought me not" (65:1).

As they all gazed upon him, the Martyr addressed them saying: "Listen, all you ministers of the devil, I am a Christian, and I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Your idols and those who fall down and worship them, I turn away from and anathematize." Seeing his boldness, the pagans were astonished. Then they immediately undressed him and mightily flogged him. They then said to him: "We are dispensing this punishment on account of your shamelessness and impertinence. Since you believe in Christ, we will cut off your head, and cast your body to the fish and reptiles to be eaten." Therefore the beastly men took the Saint, and beheaded him. And taking a ship a short distance from the shore, they cast his body into the sea.

A righteous Christian of the city, the rich matron Asclepia, promised to free any of her slaves that recovered the body. They came upon some dark-skinned people who had found the body in the water, and they surrendered it to Asclepia's men, who brought it back to their mistress. After reverently wrapping his body with sheets and myrrh, she buried it in her garden, which became a Christian cemetery with a basilica dedicated to Saint Anastasios. The relics of the Holy Martyr were glorified by many miracles.