Our Patron Saint

Image - Our Patron Saint page - sculpture of St. AnastasiaSt. Anastasia enjoys the unique distinction of having a special commemoration in the second Mass on Christmas Day. Prior to the selection of December 25th as a day to honor the birth of Christ, this Mass was celebrated in observance of the probable day of her death in 304 A.D.

Her story tells us she was a Roman nobleman’s daughter who married a pagan, and was later widowed. She then ministered to the Christians in Sirmium (modern Slovenia) who suffered under Emperor Diocletian’s persecutions. She was arrested and moved to the island of Palmaria where she was executed – either by burning or beheading. In the Sirmium church, her memory was kept sacred. Her body was buried locally and later transferred to Constantinople, where she was interred in a church known as Anastasis (Greek for ‘Resurrection of Christ’).

Sometime during the fifth century, St. Anastasia became highly venerated at Constantinople, which in turn caused an increase in devotion to her at another church called Anastasis in Rome; she soon became the titular saint of this Roman basilica.

St. Anastasia was inserted into the Roman Canon of the Mass toward the end of the fifth century, which reveals to us her esteemed position even among the other saints publicly venerated in Rome in those days.