SAINT ANYSIA, M.
WHILE 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
endeavored to hinder him; but the soldier, enraged, drew his word,
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 Allatuis and by
Fabricius, Bibl. Grc. t. 6, p. 513. See also Surius, 30th December;
Baron. ad an. 303. n. 48; Fleury,1. 8, n. 304.