Muslim Cavalryman to Catholic Saint – Saint Anastasius of Persia

Anastasius of Persia was born in the late 500s in the city of Ray, Persia. He was the son of a Magi Zoroastrianism priest named Bau. He had one brother. Anastasius was a cavalryman in the army of Khosrow II.  He participated in the capture of the True Cross in Jerusalem, which was carried to the Sasanian capital Ctesiphon. This caused him to want more information about the Christian religion.  He had a conversion of faith, left the army, became a Christian.  He went on to become a monk at Saint Savvas in Jerusalem. He was baptized and took the Christian name Anastasius to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ (“Anástasis” in Greek). After seven years as a monk.  He went to Caesarea, who was held by the Sasanians. While he was there he interrupted and ridiculed the Zoroastrian priests.  He was arrested by the local marzban taken prisoner, cruelly tortured to make him give in.  Finally, he was carried down near the Euphrates River.  They began to torture him again and at the same time promised him the highest honors of King Khosrow II if he would renounce Christianity.

Finally, on January 22, 628, along with seventy others, he was strangled to death and decapitated. His body, which was thrown to the dogs, was left untouched by them.  His body was carried from there to Palestine, then to Constantinople, and finally to Rome where the relics were venerated at the Tre Fontane Abbey.