Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions

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The Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliver of Potions or Healer martyred in Sirmium (today Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia), is known also as the Pharmakolitria a Greek term used since she has long been venerated by the church as a healer and exorcist. She is commemorated by the church December 22.


Anastasia was from Rome. She was the daughter of Praepextatus and Fausta and was beautiful in appearance, virtuous and from a wealthy family. Her mother instructed her in the faith of Christ. After her mother's death, she was given in marriage to a pagan named Publius Patricius. He subjected his wife to beatings and would keep her slaved in the house. She endured these torments for a short time since Publius drowned early in their marriage.

As a young widow, she never remarried and secretely dedicated her time to the poor, those in prisons and served their needs daily. She would wash their wounds and especially console them during their anguish.

Through her intercessions and prayers, she healed many from the effects of potions, poisons, spells and other harmful substances. This is how she received the honour of Deliverer of Potions. Her deeds and miracles spread throughout the area and her fame brought about her arrest under Diocletian's persecutions. She was tortured and endured many torments and was eventually put to death by fire in the year 290.

In the fifth century the relics of the saint were transferred to Constantinople, where a church was built and dedicated to her. This was the church where St. Andrew the Fool for Christ was kept to be cured from his foolishness. Later her head and a hand of the Great Martyr were transferred to the Monastery of St. Anastasia the Pharmakolitria, Chalkida of Greece.


Kontakion in the Second Tone

When they that are found in trials and adversities flee unto thy church O Anastasia, they receive the august and wondrous gifts of divine grace which doth abide in thee; for at all times, O Saint of God, thou pourest forth streams of healings for the world.