Anysia of Thessaloniki
Anysia was born and lived in Thessaloniki during the Dioceltian-Maximian persectutions (284-305). She was the daughter of both rich, but very pious parents. After her parents' death, Anysia lived very quietly pleasing God and fulfilling his commandements. She took private vows of poverty and chastity and used her wealth to help the poor. An ancient legend, describes her death sometime between the years 285 and 304 where she was killed by a pagan soldier. The story goes that on her way to worship the Roman soldier arrested her and dragged her to the temple of the Sun God. The intention of this soldier was to force her to sacrifice to idols. She refused, spitting in his face, whilst proclaiming that Christ is God. When he discovered her faith, he became even more abusive and the saint covered her face with a veil which the soldier only ripped away to peer at her. She struggled all the more but he eventually went into a rage and drove a sword into her side and she died instantly.
- As a doubly-shining lamp of truly mystical brightness
- do ye shine upon the Church like a high-towering beacon:
- thou with beams of martyr's glory, O Anysia;
- thou with rays of great ascetic deeds, O Melania.
- Now together ye are honoured by Christ your Bridegroom for your travails in His Name.