mardi 30 décembre 2014

Sainte ANYSE (ANYSIA) de THESSALONIQUE, vierge et martyre

Sainte Anyse

Martyre à Thessalonique ( v. 305)

A la mort de ses parents, elle utilisa sa fortune pour aider les pauvres. Se rendant à la messe, pendant la persécution de Maximien, elle fut arrêtée par un soldat qui la transperça de son épée car elle refusait d'adorer le soleil.

Canonisée par l'Eglise orthodoxe.

Le récit de son martyre aurait été décrit par Syméon le Métaphraste.


Sainte Anysia de Salonique

Vierge et martyre à Thessalonique

Fête le 30 décembre

Salonique, Thessalie, Grèce – † 304 (?)

Autre graphie : Anysia ou Anyse

Sainte Anyse ou Anysia fut martyrisée à Thessalonique (Grèce) durant la persécution du gouverneur Dulcitius, sous l’empereur Maximien, vers le début du IVe siècle. Vierge de Salonique, dont la légende dit qu’elle fut tuée par un soldat pour son refus de participer à un sacrifice païen.

Saint Anysia

The Holy Virgin Martyr Anysia lived in the city of Thessalonica during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). Upon the death of her parents, who had raised her in Christian piety, St Anysia sold everything she owned, distributing her riches to the poor, and she began to lead a strict life of fasting, vigil, and prayer.

[Fervent in her love for Christ, she often said: “Oh, how false is the life of youth, for you either scandalize or are scandalized. Better is old age; but sorrow overcomes me because of the length of time that separates me from heaven.”…When sleep overcame her she would say to herself: “It is dangerous to sleep while my enemy keeps vigil.”

During his persecution against Christians, Maximian issued an edict stating that anyone had the right to kill Christians with no fear of punishment. Soon there were many bodies to be found in cities, towns, and by the roadside. Once, when St Anysia was on her way to church, a pagan soldier stopped her and demanded that she come along to the festival of the sun to offer sacrifice. St Anysia gently pulled herself away from him. When he soldier boldly grabbed her and attempted to tear the veil from her head, she shoved him, spit in his face and said, “My Lord Jesus Christ forbids you!”

In anger, the soldier ran her through with his sword. Those gathering over her body wept and loudly complained against the cruel emperor for issuing an edict that resulted in the death of many innocent people. Christians buried the martyr near the city gates, and a chapel was built over her grave.”


Anysia of Salonika M (RM)

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece; died 304. Anysia's parents were both rich and pious. She herself led a life of unobtrusive prayer, using the money and estates her parents had left her to relieve the poor.

An ancient legend, dating back to the beginning of the 4th century, tells us that one day a Roman soldier accosted her as she was on her way to a meeting of Christians. When he discovered her faith, he became even more abusive, deciding to make sport with her by dragging her to a temple to make a pagan sacrifice. Anysia resisted. The retiring saint habitually covered her face with a veil, but the soldier ripped it away to peer at her. She struggled all the more and spit in his face. In his rage he drew his sword and thrust it through her, killing the saint immediately.

It is discreetly and silently that Anysia fell one day on the field of honor of our faith. Only her given name has remained, but she lives forever in the eternal name of God himself. The martyrs are the saints of saints. They are at the very top of the supreme hierarchy. There is no more sumptuous brocade than the red robe of martyrs, for the real letters of nobility are written and sealed in blood. It is enough to have truly suffered a single hour in the flesh, to have truly spilled a pint or two of one's blood, to be able to measure the immense compass, the prodigious significance of the Passion and death of Our Lord and the martyrs who followed him.

Death itself is nothing. But each of us has the instinctive desire to hold on to life. To wait for death faithfully, prepare oneself for it serenely, face it with indifference, that is a great deal. But to accept, seek out, gladly demand not only death, but also the hideous test of torture, that is still more. For the theologians of a purely scholastic stoicism are not displeased by the sufferings of the body. "It is not death I fear, but dying," said Montaigne. Scorn for the torment of torn flesh, quivering, this is the great miracle, the unbelievable miracle, of the faith and the will of the martyrs. They do not fear death. They do not fear dying.

Anysia, little martyr of Salonika, replays the eternal drama of innocent weakness overcome by blind brute force. And generally, hardly has the sword been sheathed when remorse, grace, and the frenzy of conversion burn and transport the soul of the powerful. The powerful are overcome by the seemingly weak. "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia).


December 30

St. Anysia, Martyr

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.

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