This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 11 -- Feast of Saints Anastasius and Theodosius

Monastery in Valle Suppentonia, Italy
Two Anastasiuses (Anastasii?) are relevant today.  The first is Saint Anastasius of Castel Sant'Elia, a Benedictine monk who became the abbot of Suppentonia.  I suspect this monastery is the predecessor to the current Monastery of Saint Bernard in Valle Suppentonia, shown in the picture.  The nearby Basilica of Saint Anastasius, beneath which he is buried with his fellow saint-monk Nonnosus, is said to be built over the ruins of a temple of Diana.  That Basilica is shown in the second picture. 

Basilica of Saint Anastasius
Gregory the Great tells us that sometime in 570 Saint Anastasius heard an angel, ordering him to come.  The monks of his monastery then began dying.  Over the next eight days, all the monks including Anastasius died.  It's nice to get a warning, I guess, just so you can get everything in order. 

The second Anastasius was the Roman Emperor in Constantinople from 491 to 518.  Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch was an ardent opponent of all forms of monophysitism (the heterodoxical view that Christ had only one nature) but Emperor Anastasius was as firmly convinced of miaphysitism, the view of Christ's nature as single (if hybrid).  When they clashed, the Emperor removed him from office briefly, but Theodosius was quickly restored.  No doubt his faultless devotion to God, coupled with the high regard of just about everyone in the Church, contributed to his restoration.  Anastasius, in a second attempt to get Theodosius to back off the dyophysitism (dual nature of Christ), sent him a hefty donation.  Cash money, in the hand.

True to his faith and vows as a monk, Anastasius accepted the money and gave all of it away to the poor.  He then continued to work and pray until his death at age one hundred six, eleven years after Emperor Anastasius' death. 

It's good to know that some folks can't be bought and can't be intimidated.   It is equally good to know that some emperors are wise enough to let those folks follow their consciences. 

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