Merry St. Anastasia Day

800px-anastasia_of_sirmiumPoor St. Anastasia gets bumped by Christmas every year, so we never get to celebrate her properly. While the details of her life and Martyrdom are hazy and legendary, the celebration of her feast on this day in Jerusalem and in Rome (which at that time was imitating Jerusalem) predates the adoption of December 25 for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Originally in both East and West, the Epiphany was the only liturgical (and popular) celebration of the birth of Christ, including his manifestation – the meaning of “Epiphany.”

In the Middle Ages and later, the Roman tradition commemorated St. Anastasia in the Christmas Mass at Dawn, but that fell by the wayside in more recent years.

The name Anastasia means, in Greek, “Resurrection.” You can read all about her and the saga of her feast here.

Also today, Bl. Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306) one of the early followers of St. Francis – a colorful character and significant poet, who is credited with composing the Stabat Mater Dolorosa.

If you get tired of Christmas carols, you might want to listen to this:

Or, a bit more modern but strikingly beautiful, this:

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Author: tomwelbers

I have been a Catholic priest for nearly fifty years, most of that time serving in parish and college campus ministry. I also have professional degrees in theology and liturgy, as well as institutional management, and continue avidly to explore pastoral theology, Scripture, liturgy, ecumenical and interfaith relations, and spiritual direction. I have a passion for sharing insight into our Christian heritage through teaching, writing, and leading pilgrimages, especially to Early Christian World sites in Turkey. Now actively retired from parish ministry, I live at Nazareth House in Los Angeles.

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