Saint Anastasius the Persian
St. Anastasius the Persian (7th c.) was the son of a Persian sorcerer. He became a Zoroastrian soldier in the army of Khosrau II, the Persian monarch who absconded the True Cross of Christ from Jerusalem and took it to Persia in 614. St. Anastasius inquired about the mysterious Cross and the Christian religion and as a result soon converted to the true Faith, left the army, received baptism, and became a monk at a monastery in Jerusalem. He lived there seven years until he was called by God to martyrdom among his people. He went to Caesarea to preach, which was then under Persian rule. He was captured and subject to cruel tortures. He was promised freedom and a high position in the kingdom if he would simply denounce his faith, which he refused. St. Anastasius was strangled and beheaded. His feast day is January 22.
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