Anastasius of Persia

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Anastasius of Persia
Anastasius of Persia (Menologion of Basil II).jpg
The burial of Anastasius in the Menologion of Basil II
Saint & Martyr
Born 6th Century
Died 22 January 628(628-01-22)
Euphrates Valley
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, Roman Catholic Church
Canonized pre-congregation
Feast 22 January
Saint Anastasius redirects here. For other saints of the same name, see Anastasius

Saint Anastasius of Persia (born with the name Magundat), originally a Zoroastrian soldier in the Sasanian army, became a convert to Christianity and was martyred in 628.


Anastasius was born in Ray; he was the son of a Magian named Bau, and had an unnamed brother. He was a cavalryman in the army of Khosrau II (r. 590-628) and participated in capture of the True Cross in Jerusalem, which was carried to the Sasanian capital Ctesiphon. The occasion prompted him to ask for information about the Christian religion; he then left the army, became a Christian, and afterwards a monk at the monastery of Saint Savvas (Mar Saba) in Jerusalem.[dubious ] He was baptized by Modestus, receiving the Christian name Anastasius to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ ("Anástasis" in Greek). After seven years of the monastic observance, he was moved, as he thought, by the Holy Ghost to go in quest of martyrdom and went to Caesarea, then subject to the Sasanians.

Reproaching his countrymen for their religion, which he had once practiced, he was taken prisoner, cruelly tortured to make him abjure, and finally carried down near the Euphrates, to a place called Barsaloe (or Bethsaloe according to the Bollandists), where his tortures were renewed while at the same time the highest honors in the service of King Khosrau II were promised him if he would renounce Christianity.

Finally, with seventy others, he was strangled to death and decapitated, on January 22, 628. His body, which was thrown to the dogs, but was left untouched by them, was carried from there to Palestine, afterwards to Constantinople, and finally to Rome.

A Passio written in Greek was devoted to the saint. An adapted Latin translation, possibly by Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury, was available to the Anglo-Saxon church historian Bede, who criticised the result and took it upon himself to 'improve' it. There are no surviving manuscripts of Bede's revision, though one did survive as late as the 15th century.[1]

His feast day is 22 January.


  1. ^ Laistner & King, Hand-list, p. 87.


Further reading[edit]

  • Franklin, Carmela Vircillo. The Latin dossier of Anastasius the Persian: hagiographic translations and transformations. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Studies and Texts 147. Toronto, 2004.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.