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St. Anastasia the Patrician

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Feastday: March 10
Death: 6th century

Virgin hermitess, the subject of a beautiful legend. Anastasia the Patrician was the daughter of an Egyptian nobleman and a lady-in-waiting in the court of Emperor Justinian in Constantinople, now Istanbul. Justinian pursued her amorously, and she fled the court to take up a religious vocation in a convent in Alexandria, Egypt. When Justinian's consort, Theodora, died, Anastasia had to flee again, as he was seeking her. She went out into the Egyptian desert where she was allowed to dress as a monk and to remain in place. For twenty-eight years Anastasia remained in solitude in the desert, in constant prayer.


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