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Headword: Ἐπιστολὴ Ἀναστασίας τῆς μάρτυρος πρὸς Χρυσόγονον
Adler number: chi,574
Translated headword: Epistle of Anastasia the martyr to Chrysogonos
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
"Anastasia to the holy confessor of Christ Chrysogonos, greetings! Although my father used to worship the idols very much, nevertheless my mother Phaneia, being always one of the Christians, from the time she gave birth to me, made me a Christian. But after her death I was yoked to a most despicable husband. By the grace of God I escaped from marriage with him, beseeching our Lord Jesus Christ night and day to be saved from that despicable idolater, who is proved [to be wasting?] my property continually, [and] has squandered it with despicable and idolatrous men, but me he has handed over like a scapegoat and sacrilegious person to a most severe guard, so as to destroy my temporal life; and nothing but my soul is left to me, except that I pray to die with the hope of God. Nevertheless, even if I boast in the confession of my Christ, I am very much grieved that my property, which I vowed to spend for the servants of God, that despicable man dispenses for worship of demons; and what I vowed to give to the servants of God, he gives to shameful and unholy men. And for this reason I beseech you, servant of Christ God, to petition God urgently on my behalf, that if God provides, my husband Publius may come to believe in Christ, but if not, grant him to perish in his own deceits, but me to be saved from him. For it is better for me to die than to deny the Son of God and to hinder those who believe in him. The all-powerful Christ himself bears witness, when I am relieved from this error, I will be faithful to the saints and I will accept care for them as I began. Farewell, servant of God, and remember me."
When Chrysogonos received [this letter] he wrote as follows: “Chrysogonos to Anastasia, greetings! May Christ who walked on the waves help you as you are bestormed by the gales of life, so that you may nullify the power of the Devil by his word. With good courage and as if lying in the middle of the sea, trust in Christ to watch over you; and turning to yourself cry out with the prophet who said, ‘Why are you exceedingly grieved, my soul?’[1] and so on. For the power of God’s grace is demonstrated twice, for both the temporal things abound for you and the heavenly things will be added to you. But God turns away from those who fail to call upon him because of good things, for his grace is not cheap. See, do not be shaken by this, because the opposite things happen to you as you persevere in piety. For Christ does not deceive you, but he is testing you, and help from men is not secure, as you suppose, since Scripture says, ‘Cursed is the man who hopes in men,'[2] and blessed is the man who hopes in God.[3] Look nobly and watchfully and clearly, flee every sin. Seek this comfort from God; keep his commandments. For already the time of salvation will come to you, and as if after a dark night the brilliant light of God will shine on you, and as if after a storm a joyous and fair season will smile on you; and as to all those who suffer tribulation because of God, he/it will provide you temporary endurance because of which you will receive the eternal reward. Farewell in the Lord and pray for me.”
And again the same woman writes to the same man: “Anastasia to Chrysogonos the confessor of Christ, greetings! Because the end is here for my body, pray for me, that he for whose sake I endure these tribulations may receive my soul.“
To these [words] Chrysogonos wrote in return as follows: “Chryosogonos to the handmaid of God Anastasia! It is clear that light reveals darkness; so also salvation comes after weakness, and life is given after death to those who are worthy. For good fortune and ill fortune in human affairs have the same end, so that neither the humble may be gloomy nor the proud boast. For there is one sea, on which the boat of our body runs, and it is guided straight by one pilot. Those whose ships are strengthened at the keels run unharmed over the sea; but the weak [ships] are at risk even without waves, in calm weather itself. For those who do not strive towards the harbor of salvation are near to destruction. But you being an uncondemned handmaid of Christ make the Cross powerful in your whole soul and prepare yourself for salvation, so that you may be numbered with the martyrs of Christ.”
Greek Original:
Ἐπιστολὴ Ἀναστασίας τῆς μάρτυρος πρὸς Χρυσόγονον. τῷ ἁγίῳ ὁμολογητῇ Χριστοῦ Χρυσογόνῳ Ἀναστασία χαίρειν. εἰ καὶ μάλιστα ὁ ἐμὸς πατὴρ τὰ εἴδωλα προσεκύνει, ἀλλ' οὖν ἡ μήτηρ μου Φάνεια, διὰ παντὸς ἐν Χριστιανοῖς οὖσα, ἐξότου με ἐγέννησε, Χριστιανήν με ἐποίησε. μετὰ δὲ τὸν θάνατον αὐτῆς ἐζεύχθην ἀνδρὶ μιαρωτάτῳ, οὗτινος χάριτι θεοῦ τὴν συνάφειαν διέφυγον, δεομένη τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ νυκτός τε καὶ ἡμέρας ῥυσθῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ μιαροῦ εἰδωλολάτρου ἐκείνου, ὅστις τὴν ἐμὴν περιουσίαν ἑξῆς διαφαίνεται, μετὰ μιαρῶν καὶ εἰδωλολατρῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐξήντλησεν, ἐμὲ δὲ ὡσανεὶ φαρμακὸν καὶ ἱερόσυλον βαρυτάτῃ φυλακῇ παραδέδωκεν, ὥστε με τὴν πρόσκαιρον ἀπολέσαι ζωήν: καὶ οὐδέν μοι παρὲξ τῆς ψυχῆς περιλέλειπται. πλὴν εὔχομαι μετὰ τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐλπίδος ἀποθανεῖν. ὅμως, εἰ καὶ καυχῶμαι ἐν τῇ ὁμολογίᾳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ μου, πάνυ λυποῦμαι, ὅτι τὴν ἐμὴν περιουσίαν, ἣν ηὐχόμην περὶ τοὺς δούλους τοῦ θεοῦ δαπανῆσαι, ὁ μιαρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἄνθρωπος δαιμονολάτραις ἐπιχορηγεῖ: καὶ ἅπερ ἐγὼ ἐπιδοῦναι τοῖς τοῦ θεοῦ δούλοις ηὐχόμην, ταῦτα αἰσχροῖς καὶ ἀνοσίοις ἀνθρώποις ἐπιδίδωσι. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο παρακαλῶ σε, δοῦλε Χριστοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα σπουδαίως ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ τὸν θεὸν δυσωπήσῃς, ὥστε, εἰ μὲν προγινώσκει ὁ θεός, πιστεῦσαι τὸν ἐμὸν ἄνδρα Πόπλιον εἰς τὸν Χριστόν: εἰ δὲ μή γε, συγχωρῆσαι αὐτὸν ταῖς οἰκείαις ἐναπολέσθαι ἀπάταις, ἐμὲ δὲ ῥύσασθαι ἀπ' αὐτοῦ. κάλλιον γάρ μοι τὸ ἀποθανεῖν ἢ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἀπαρνήσασθαι καὶ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς αὐτὸν ἐμποδίσαι. αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ παντοδυνάστης Χριστὸς μαρ- τυρεῖ, ὅταν ἀπαλλαγήσωμαι τῆς πλάνης ταύτης, τοῖς ἁγίοις προσκαρτερήσω καὶ τὰς ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν φροντίδας, καθάπερ ἠρξάμην, μέχρι παντὸς ἀναδέξομαι. ἔρρωσο, δοῦλε τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μέμνησό μου. ὁ δὲ Χρυσόγονος δεξάμενος ἔγραψεν οὕτως. Χρυσόγονος Ἀναστασίᾳ χαίρειν. χειμαζομένῃ σοι ταῖς θυέλλαις τοῦ βίου ὁ ἐπὶ τῶν κυμάτων βαδίσας Χριστὸς βοηθήσοι, ἵνα τὴν τοῦ Διαβόλου δύναμιν τῷ λόγῳ αὐτοῦ καταργήσῃς. μεγαλοφρόνως τοίνυν καὶ ὡσανεὶ ἐν μέσῃ τῇ θαλάσσῃ κειμένη, πίστευσον τῷ Χριστῷ ἐπισκέψασθαί σε: καὶ πρὸς ἑαυτὴν ἐπιστρέψασα ἀναβόησον μετὰ τοῦ προφήτου, εἰπόντος: ἵνα τί περίλυπος εἶ, ἡ ψυχή μου, καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς. διπλῆ γὰρ ἡ δύναμις τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ χάριτος ἀποδείκνυται. καὶ γὰρ τὰ πρόσκαιρά σοι περιττεύσει, καὶ προστεθήσεταί σοι τὰ ἐπουράνια. ὁ δὲ θεὸς τοὺς μὴ παρακαλοῦντας αὐτὸν ὑπὲρ ἀγαθῶν ἀποστρέφεται. οὐδὲ γάρ ἐστιν εὐτελὲς τὸ χάρισμα αὐτοῦ. βλέπε, μὴ ταραχθῇς ἐν τούτῳ, ὅτι εὐσεβῶς διαγινομένῃ σοι πρὸς τὸν Χριστὸν συμβαίνει τἀναντία. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀπατᾷ σε ὁ Χριστός, ἀλλὰ δοκιμάζει σε. οὔτε ἀσφαλής ἐστιν παρὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βοήθεια, ὡς σὺ νομίζεις, τῆς γραφῆς λεγούσης: ἐπικατάρατος ἄνθρωπος ὁ ἐλπίζων ἐπ' ἄνθρωπον, καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ ἐλπίζων ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν. βλέπε γενναίως καὶ ἀγρύπνως καὶ τρανῶς διάφυγε πᾶσαν ἁμαρτίαν. ταύτην παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ζήτησον παραμυθίαν, οὗ τινος τὰς ἐντολὰς φύλαττε. ἤδη γὰρ ὁ τῆς σωτηρίας καιρὸς ἐλεύσεται ἐπί σε, καὶ καθάπερ μετὰ σκοτεινὴν νύκτα τὸ διαυγὲς φῶς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιλάμψει σοι, καὶ καθάπερ μετὰ χειμῶνα ἱλαρός σοι καὶ εὔδιος ἐπιγελάσει καιρός, καὶ ὡς πᾶσι τοῖς διὰ τὸν θεὸν θλιβομένοις, παράσχῃ σοι τὴν πρόσκαιρον ὑπομονήν, δι' ἣν τὸν αἰώνιον ἀπολήψῃ μισθόν. ἔρρωσο ἐν κυρίῳ καὶ εὔχου ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ. καὶ αὖθις γράφει ἡ αὐτὴ πρὸς τὸν αὐτόν. Χρυσογόνῳ τῷ ὁμολογητῇ τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἀναστασία χαίρειν. ὅτι τὸ τέλος πάρεστι τῷ σώματί μου, εὔχου ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, ἵνα ἐκεῖνός μου ἀποδέξηται τὴν ψυχήν, δι' ὃν ταύτας τὰς θλίψεις ὑπομένω. πρὸς ταῦτα Χρυσόγονος ἀντέγραψεν οὕτως. τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ δούλῃ Ἀναστασίᾳ Χρυσόγονος. δηλόν ἐστιν, ὅτι τὸ φῶς ἀποκρύπτει τὸ σκότος: οὕτω καὶ μετὰ ἀσθένειαν ἡ σωτηρία ἐπέρχεται, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ μετὰ θάνατον τοῖς ἀξίοις ἐπιδίδοται. τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ ἔχει τέλος ἥ τε εὐτυχία ἥ τε δυστυχία τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων πραγμάτων, ἵνα μηδὲ οἱ ταπεινοὶ στυγνάζωσι μηδὲ οἱ μεγαλοφρονοῦντες καυχήσωνται. μία γὰρ θάλασσά ἐστιν, ἐν ᾗ τὰ πλοῖα τοῦ ἡμετέρου σώματος διατρέχει, καὶ ὑφ' ἑνὸς κυβερνήτου εὐθύνεται. ὧν τινων τοίνυν αἱ ναῦς ἰσχύρωνται ταῖς τροπίσιν ὠχυρωμέναι, ἀβλαβεῖς τὸ πέλαγος διατρέχουσιν: αἱ δὲ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ δίχα κυμάτων ἐπ' αὐτῆς τῆς γαλήνης κινδυνεύουσιν: ἐγγὺς γὰρ ἀπωλείας εἰσὶν αἱ μὴ πρὸς τὸν λιμένα τῆς σωτηρίας σπουδάζουσαι ἐλθεῖν. σὺ δὲ ἀκατάγνωστος τυγχάνουσα τοῦ Χριστοῦ δούλη τὸν σταυρὸν ἐν πάσῃ σου τῇ ψυχῇ διακράτησον καὶ σεαυτὴν πρὸς σωτηρίαν παρασκεύασον, ὥστε μετὰ τῶν μαρτύρων τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀριθμηθῆναί σε.
Notes:
An abused wife begs a reverse healing miracle from the saint for her pagan husband; the saint urges patience.
[1] Psalms 41.6, 41.12, 42.5 LXX.
[2] Jeremiah 17.5 LXX.
[3] cf. Psalm 33.9 LXX.
Reference:
F. Halkin, ed., Bibliotheca hagiographica graeca ed. 3 (1957), vol. 1 p. 26, vol. 3 p. 15
Keywords: biography; children; Christianity; daily life; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; imagery; medicine; religion; science and technology; trade and manufacture; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 10 April 2008@12:27:04.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 11 April 2008@03:42:35.
Catharine Roth (augmented reference) on 21 April 2008@17:01:11.
David Whitehead (more keywords; raised status) on 14 November 2013@04:56:17.
David Whitehead (coding) on 1 June 2016@06:28:15.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 1 June 2016@11:28:17.

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