March 10

From the Prologue

Anastasia was a patrician and lady of the imperial palace of Emperor Justinian. After she was widowed and when she perceived that Empress Theodora could not tolerate her, she immediately slipped out of Constantinople and turned up in the wilderness of Egypt. The renown spiritual father Abba Daniel tonsured her a nun and presented her as the monk Anastasius the eunuch according to her wishes so that, as a woman under the guise of a man, she could easily be protected and hidden from the pursuit of the emperor. Anastasia then closed herself off in a narrow cell where she spent twenty-eight years and died there in the year 563 A.D. Before her death, the Elder Daniel saw her face glow like the sun.



One time, a glorious patrician Venerable Anastasia,

Money, flattery, abandoned she all,

To Christ, her entire life she directed;

Christ, her bread; Christ, her water;

Christ, her joy and freedom,

Christ, the restorer of her soul,

Christ, the bridge over death.

Anastasia became shriveled,

The spirit through her withered face shines;

The spirit raises her higher to God,

With the spirit of God, she breathes,

Until illuminated, she became,

By Grace enlightened,

By the power of God strengthened

And among the Living inscribed.

All she forgave, all she loved,

And for the entire world, she prays,

Like an angel, she was indeed,

Wholly fixed on Christ;

By the power of God, more powerful was she

And by riches, more wealthy

Than the Empress Theodora

Amidst the opulence of the imperial court.

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