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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XII: December. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

December 25

St. Anastasia, Martyr

HER name is mentioned in the canon of the mass, in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, and in other ancient catalogues of martyrs. There stands in Rome an ancient church, which is dedicated to God in her memory. In the acts of St. Chrysogonus we are told, that she was of an illustrious descent at Rome, had St. Chrysogonus for her tutor and director in the faith, and when that holy martyr was apprehended at Aquileia in the persecution of Dioclesian, went thither to comfort him in his chains. It is further related, that after suffering exquisite tortures, she was sentenced by the prefect of Illyricum to be burnt alive in 304. Her body was removed to Rome, and laid in the church which still bears her name. In this church the popes anciently said their second mass on Christmas-night, or rather that of the morning, whence a commemoration of her is made in the second mass. The relics of St. Anastasia were translated to Constantinople in the time of the Emperor Leo, and deposited first in the church of Anastasia or the Resurrection, afterwards in the patriarchal church of St. Sophia: but were lost when that city was taken by the Turks. The Greek Menologies and the Muscovite Calendars commemorate our saint on the 22nd of December, the Roman Missal on the 25th. See on her also Nicephorus, Suidas, and Jos. Assemani ad 22 Dec. p. 489.  1
  Another ST. ANASTASIA, called the Elder, was crowned with martyrdom in the persecution of Valerian; others think of Nero. See the Acts of St. Chrysogonus, though of small authority; her Acts in Metaphrastes are of no better stamp.  2