30 December 2023

St Amysia, Virgin

From Fr Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints

WHILST the governor Dulcitius carried on a cruel persecution at Thessalonica to deter the Christians from holding religious assemblies, in 304, in the reign of Maximian Galerius, a Christian young lady, called Anysia, of rich and noble parents, by whose death she was left an orphan, resolved to go to the assembly of the faithful. As she passed by the gate of Cassandra, one of the emperor’s guards, who happened to see her, was taken with her beauty, and stepping before her said: “Stay, whither are you going?” Anysia startled at his insolence, and fearing a temptation, made the sign of the cross upon her forehead. The soldier, offended at her silence, seized her, and asked her roughly, “Who art thou, and whither art thou going?” “I am,” said she, “a servant of Jesus Christ, and am going to the Lord’s assembly.” “I will prevent that,” said he, “and will bring thee to sacrifice to the gods; for to-day we adore the sun:” that day being called by the pagans Sunday. Saying this, he tore off her veil to discover her face. Anysia endeavoured to hinder him; but the soldier enraged, drew his sword, and ran it through her body, so that it came out on the other side. She fell down immediately, trembling, and bathed in her blood, and there expired. Her name occurs in the Roman Martyrology, in the Greek Synaxary, and the Menology of the Emperor Basil, on the 30th of December. See her genuine Greek Acts, also her panegyric by Philotheus, patriarch of Constantinople, mentioned by Allatius and by Fabricius, Bibl. Græc. t. 6. p. 513. See also Surius, 30th Decem. Baron. ad an. 303. n. 48. Fleury, l. 8. n. 304.

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