Science of the Saints, 30 December, The Holy Martyress Anysia.

The Holy Martyress Anysia lived in the city of Soluneia (Thessalonika) during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). Upon the death of her parents, who had raised her in Christian piety, Saint Anysia distributed her substance to the poor and began to lead a strict life in vigil, fasting and prayer.

During the time of his persecution against Christians, Maximian issued an edict according to which anyone had the right without punishment to kill Christians. One time, when Saint Anysia had gone to church for prayer, a pagan soldier stopped her and demanded that she come along to the pagan feast to the sun. Saint Anysia gently pulled herself away from him. When he soldier boldly grabbed hold of her and attempted to tear the veil from her head, she shoved him, spit in his face and said: “My Lord Jesus Christ forbid thee!” The soldier in anger drew out his sword and ran through the holy martyress. Those gathering over her body wept and loudly complained against the cruel emperor, for having so inhuman an edict. Christians buried the martyress near the city gates, and over her grave was built a house of prayer.

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