The Monk Anastasias

Commemorated on April 20

      The Monk Anastasias, hegumen of Mount Sinai, was born at the end of the VI Century. He received in his youth a fine secular education, which he completed by the study of theology. In a sermon on Thomas Sunday the Monk Anastasias wrote: "Having beheld Christ in the flesh they reckoned Him for a prophet; and we, although we have not seen him with bodily eyes, but rather from the tips of our fingers, then still when we were small children and lads, we recognised in Him God, and learned to confess Him as Lord of the universe, Creator of the ages, and Radiance of the Glory of the Father. With such a faith do we hear His Holy Gospel, as though we behold Christ Himself. When we only but look at an icon depiction of His Divine likeness, as of Him Himself, we attain to Heaven for ourselves, and we honour, we worship and fall down".
      Already in his youth the Monk Anastasias had accepted monasticism, and he later set off to Jerusalem and settled on Mount Sinai. During this period, the hegumen of Mount Sinai was the Monk John of the Ladder (Lestvichnik, Climaticus; Comm. 30 March), and afterwards his brother George. After Saint George, the Monk Anastasias became hegumen, from which they bestowed upon him the title "Sinaite".
      The Monk Anastasias put much work into the struggle with the Akephaloi heresy, which was opposed by the decrees of the IV OEcumenical Council at Chalcedon (451), and which defined the dogma about the union in the One Person of the Lord Jesus Christ in two natures the Divine and the human. Spreading the Orthodox faith, the Monk Anastasias visited Egypt, Arabia and Syria. For the struggle with the Monophysites he left to his students an epistolary guide in the form of answers to questions under the title "Guide-book" in 24 chapters. The Monk Anastasias also had dialogues with heretics which he also wrote down; these have come down to us in his work "Explanation of the Sixth Day" (12 book-chapters), Sermons, Instructions, Vitae of certain ascetics, and Commentaries on many places in Holy Scripture.
      The Monk Anastasias the Sinaite died in deep old age (+ c. 695).

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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