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.
(St. Nikolai Velimirovich)
Saint Anastasia the Patrician (died 567), a young woman who gave up all she had to avoid breaking her vow of chastity, fleeing a privileged and noble life to life in the desert as a monk. Saint Anastasia’s sacrifice reminds us of our own opportunities to sacrifice and life in repentance and conversion during this Lenten season.
Upon the death of Empress Theodora, Emperor Justinian launched a search for his fair Anastasia, whom he had never forgotten. When Anastasia learned of this, she left her monastery, journeying further into the remote desert, and searching for a well-known and pious monk, Abba Daniel, for assistance.
“Bring the spades and come here” on a piece of pottery, and left it at the entrance of her cave. The monk who found this message brought it to Abba Daniel, who immediately understood that her time approached. He brought all that was necessary for burial, and upon his arrival found her still alive. Together they contemplated the Holy Mysteries, and following a blessing (which Abba Daniel requested from the pious woman), Anastasia said, “Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” With that she died peacefully, in the year 567.
Year 2: Day 69 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Conversion and turning from sin.
Requested Intentions: Healing (E); For a son struggling with depression (B); Successful conception (M); Freedom from social anxiety; confidence in the Lord (J); Improved success in employment and studies (D); Freedom from illness (T); For a wife’s employment (E); Healing of a husband’s knee (M); Freedom from sickness (R); Healing (C); Restoration of marriage (F); Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); End to suffering for sick brother; reconciliation of estranged family (E); End to husband’s addiction; Improved relationship; strength (M); Successful God-centered marriage; Sacramental life (M); Healing, successful relationship (S); For successful marriage (A); For a husband’s freedom from addiction (C); Freedom from pain and illness for a friend (M); Financial freedom (J); Successful passing of occupational examination (S); Healing and conversion, sale of house (L); Occupational success for employee and colleagues (J); Employment for a son (C); Successful attainment of an important appointed position (J); Recovery from cancer for a friend (Z); For a family’s freedom from sin (M); For a daughter with Diabetes (A); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."