St. Anysia at Thessalonica
Commemorated on December 30
The Holy Virgin Martyr Anysia lived in the city of Thessalonica during the reign of Emperor Maximian (284-305). Upon the death of her parents, who had raised her in Christian piety, St. Anysia sold everything she owned, distributing her riches to the poor, and began to lead a strict life of fasting, vigil, and prayer.
During his persecution against the Christians, Maximian issued an edict stating that anyone had the right to kill Christians with no fear of punishment. Soon there were many bodies to be found in the cities, towns, and by the roadside. Once, when St. Anysia was on her way to church, a pagan soldier stopped her and demanded that she come along to the festival of the sun to offer sacrifice. St. Anysia gently pulled herself away from him. When the soldier boldly grabbed her and attempted to tear the veil from her head, she shoved him, spit in his face and said, “My Lord Jesus Christ forbids you!”
In anger, the soldier ran her through with his sword. Those gathering over her body wept and loudly complained against the cruel emperor for issuing an edict that resulted in the death of many innocent people. Christians buried the martyr near the city gates, and a chapel was built over her grave.
Troparion (Tone 4) –
You tread to the end of the path of virtue and were betrothed to God the Word.
You rejoiced in the contest, O Anysia;
And you, O Melania, shone with the light of dispassion,
Together, radiant with virtue in the world.
And now we ask you to implore Christ the Lord that he may be gracious to us!
Troparion (Tone 4) –
Your lamb Anysia, O Jesus,
Calls out to You in a loud voice:
I love You, O my bridegroom,
And in seeking You, I endure suffering.
In Baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
And died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
For I have offered myself in love.
By her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.
Kontakion (Tone 3) –
Like a lamp with two flames you illumine Christ’s Church
With mystical radiance.
In your martyr’s contest you brought forth fruits a hundred-fold, O Anysia;
And you, O Melania, were resplendent in asceticism.
You were found worthy of the incorruptible life of the blessed!
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)