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THE FOURTH MONTH
TAHISAS 26
(January 04)

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, 
ONE GOD.  AMEN.

On this day Saint Anastasia became a martyr.  This spiritual fighter was from the city of Rome; her father was a worshipper of idols, and her mother was a Christian, who as soon as the child was born, had her baptized secretly with Christian baptism and without her fatherís knowledge; for had he known it would have been impossible to baptize her.  And her mother reared her piously, and each day and each night she suckled her on Christian doctrine, and at length she brought her into the True Faith, and no one was able to change her belief.  When she had grown up and had reached the age for marriage her father gave her in marriage to a man who was an infidel like himself, and she hated him exceedingly, and had no wish whatsoever to consort with him.  And she pretended to be ill, and she was always putting forward the pretexts which women are wont to use when they want to avoid union with their husbands.  She would frequently dress herself in soiled and wretched apparel, wishing by these means to make him to hate the sight of her, so that he might not have the desire to have union with her, and that, perhaps, he might separate from her altogether.  And she prayed and entreated our Lord Jesus Christ very often to remove her from him quickly.  And when her husband would leave his house to go to his work, she used to go out likewise, and pass into the streets and visit the believers of the True Faith who were shut up in prison, and minister unto them, and give them what they needed.  When her husband knew this he made her prisoner in his house, and he shut the door upon her that she could not go out, and she prayed to God often with tears, and sorrow, and groans, to release her from her husbandís hand; and God heard her petition, and received her groaning, and destroyed her husband straightway; and when her husband died she rejoiced in his death exceedingly.  Then she rose up forthwith and gave all her goods to the poor and the needy, and the prisoners, and the confessors, and those who fought the spiritual fight.  And the governor of the city heard the report of her, and sent a messenger to her to bring her to him, and he brought her; and the governor questioned her concerning her Faith, and she confessed before him that she was a Christian.  And the governor spoke many words unto her; and made her many promises in order to make her abandon her good counsel, but she refused [so to do].  When she would not obey him, the governor tortured her very severely, and when he was weary of torturing her he ordered his soldiers to sink her in the sea, and they drowned her; but straightway God raised her up out of the sea alive and uninjured.  When the governor heard that she was alive, he commanded the soldiers to lay her down on the ground between four pegs, and to tie her to the pegs, and to beat her with stripes, which caused agonizing pains, and they did to her even as he commanded; but no harm whatsoever came to her.  Then he commanded them to cast her into a pit of fire, which was prepared for her, and she delivered up her soul into the hand of God, and entered the kingdom of the heavens.  Salutation to Anastasia who rejected idols.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.