Icon of Saint Anastasios the Persian – S198

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In a.d. 614 the Persian Army of King Chosroes (Khosrau II) of Persia conquered Jerusalem, defeating the Byzantine armies of the Emperor Heraclius, and took away the Precious Cross of Christ with them back to the seat of the Persian Empire.  The future Saint Anastasios was already born as Magundat in Persia in the village of Rasuna, in the Raza region.  He was taught by his father to be a pagan magician, and when he grew up Magundat enlisted in the army.  At the capital he heard about the miraculous power of the True Cross, and his heart began to desire to know the truth.

With his regiment under General Sain, Magundat fought the Greeks, but were soundly defeated at Chalcedon by the forces of the Emperor Heraclius.  Magundat deserted his army and sought knowledge of Christianity, and was finally baptized in Jerusalem with the name Anastasios.  He became a model monk for seven years, but desired, after a Divine dream, to seek martyrdom.  Saint Anastasios went to Caesarea in Palestine, was arrested by Persian Prince Marzavan, and then sent back to die a long and tortured martyr’s death in Bithsailia near Nineveh on January 22, a.d. 628. 

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Egg Tempera


Monk Michael of Athos


20th c. (Late)