Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Venerable Anthusa the Virginmartyr of Constantinople

Commemorated on April 12

Saint Anthusa of Constantinople was the daughter of the Iconoclast emperor Constantine Copronymos (741-775) and his first wife. She and her brother, the future emperor Leo the Khazar (775-780), were twins born on January 25, 750. The empress suffered very much with their birth. Constantine Copronymos summoned Abbess Anthusa of Mantinea (July 27) from prison and entreated her prayers. The abbess predicted the birth of the twins and their fate, and the daughter was named in her honor.

When she grew up, the emperor began to urge her to marry. But from her youth St Anthusa yearned for monasticism and would not agree to his suggestions. After the death of her father, she used all her personal property to help the poor and the orphaned. The devout empress Irene (780-802), wife of Leo the Khazar, regarded St Anthusa with love and esteem and invited her to be a co-regent. St Anthusa, however, did not desire worldly honors. Being at court, she wore clothes befitting her position as an emperor's daughter, but underneath her finery she wore a hair-shirt.

St Anthusa was tonsured by the holy Patriarch Tarasius (784-806). She founded at Constantinople the Omonia monastery, known for its strict rule. St Anthusa was herself an example of humility. She did hard work, she cleaned the church and carried water. She never sat at table during meals, but instead served the sisters. She saw to it that no one left the monastery without a special need.

The humble and gentle ascetic lived to the age of fifty-two, and died peacefully in 801.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's):

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