Anastasius of Persia
Anastasius of persia.jpg
Detail of a Holy card depicting the martyrdom of Anastasius
Saint & Martyr
Born 6th Century, Persia
Died 22 January 628, Euphrates Valley
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, Roman Catholic Church
Canonized pre-congregation
Feast 22 January
Saint Anastasius redirects here. For other saints of the same name, see Anastasius

Saint Anastasius of Persia (born with the name Magundat), once a member of the Zoroastrian Magi caste, became a convert of the Holy Cross and was martyred in 628.

Anastasius was a soldier in the army of Khusrau II (d. 628) when that monarch carried the True Cross from Jerusalem to Sassanid Persia. The occasion prompted him to ask for information; then he left the army, became a Christian, and afterwards a monk in Jerusalem. His Persian name, Magundat, he changed to Anastasius. After seven years of the monastic observance, he was moved, as he thought, by the Holy Ghost to go in quest of martyrdom and went to Caesarea, then subject to the Persians.

Reproaching his countrymen for their magic and fireworship, both of which he had once practised, he was taken prisoner, cruelly tortured to make him abjure, and finally carried down near the Euphrates, to a place called Barsaloe (or Bethsaloe according to the Bollandists), where his tortures were renewed while at the same time the highest honours in the service of King Chosroes were promised him if he would renounce Christianity.

Finally, with seventy others, he was strangled to death and decapitated, on January 22, 628. His body, which was thrown to the dogs, but was left untouched by them, was carried from there to Palestine, afterwards to Constantinople, and finally to Rome.

A Passio written in Greek was devoted to the saint. An adapted Latin translation, possibly by Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury, was available to the Anglo-Saxon church historian Bede, who criticised the result and took it upon himself to 'improve' it. There are no surviving manuscripts of Bede's revision, though one did survive as late as the 15th century.[1]

His feast day is 22 January.


  1. Laistner & King, Hand-list, p. 87.


  • Saint Anastasius in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  • Acta SS., 3 Jan.
  • Butler, Lives of the Saints, 22 Jan.
  • Laistner, M.L.W.; King, H.H. (1943). A Hand-List of Bede Manuscripts. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Further reading

  • Franklin, Carmela Vircillo. The Latin dossier of Anastasius the Persian: hagiographic translations and transformations. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Studies and Texts 147. Toronto, 2004.

External links

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

sr:Анастасије Персијски

uk:Анастасій Перський

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