Holy Virgin Martyr Anastasia the Roman

October 29

Saint Anastasia+ lived at Rome in the middle of the third century, during the reign of the Emperor Decius and of his successor Valerian, when Probus was Governor of the City. She was young and beautiful and possessed all the good things of this life, whose pleasures tend to make us forget heavenly things. But she gave up everything that bound her to this world and embraced the angelic life in a little monastery in Rome, directed by a wise and most virtuous nun called Sophia. When the Devil saw the young Anastasia warring valiantly against fleshly passions, he decided to tempt her by the final test of confessing Christ in the shedding of her blood. Her refusal to worship the gods of the City and consequent contempt for the imperial religion were reported to the Governor as shameless impiety. Probus sent soldiers to seize her in the house that served as a monastery. Sophia wept at losing her disciple but rejoiced at offering Christ a bride adorned in the robe of varied colours, fringed with the wrought gold of the virtues (Ps. 44:14). Conscious of having already died to the world by renunciation and ascesis, Anastasia was not afraid to confess Christ boldly before the Governor. Not only did threats of torture and death avail nothing to shake her faith, they filled her, rather, with divine joy as the means whereby she would be completely united with Christ God. In his fury at finding himself worsted by a mere girl before the contest had begun, the tyrant loosed upon her the blind ferocity of his tormentors. They struck her in as many ways as they could devise, broke her on the wheel, tore off her breasts and finally cut out her tongue that ceased not to give thanks to God in all her torments. This is how Saint Anastasia won the victory in the contest of martyrdom. Sophia was told by an Angel to gather up her holy relics, of which the most part are now venerated at the Monastery of Grigoriou on Mount Athos.

+She is not to be confused with St Anastasia Pharmacolytria, who was martyred under Diocletian and is commemorated on 22 Dec. But she may be the same person as the St Anastasia commemorated on 12 Oct, martyred at the same time and in identical circumstances.
Source: The Synaxarion: The Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church. Volume One, Introduction, September, October. Holy Convent of The Annunciation of Our Lady, Ormylia (Chalkidike), 1998.