+ Anastasius was born in Rome and succeeded Pope Saint Siricius as bishop of Rome in 399.
+ Pope Anastasius’ papacy was marked by controversy, as he supported Saint Jerome in his work of translating the Scriptures into Latin, taking a stand against Rufinus of Aquilea’s more allegorical interpretations and translations of the Bible.
+ Saint Jerome praised Anastasius’ personal holiness, poverty of spirit, and apostolic solicitude. Other friends and admirers of this pope were Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint Paulinus of Nola.
+ Anastasius served as pope for only two years, but during that time he worked to combat the Arian heresy and he decreed that clerics should stand during the reading of the Gospel at Mass as a sign of reverence for Christ in the Scriptures.
+ Pope Saint Anastasius I died in 401.
On this day, the Church also honors the memory of Saint Nemesius and a small group of Christians martyred in Alexandria, Egypt, in 250. The account of their martyrdom was recorded by the Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea.
“My life is at the service of the Gospel; God has given me this gift of his grace.”—Antiphon I for Evening Prayer II of the Common of Pastors in the Liturgy of the Hours
O God, who through the child-bearing of the holy Virgin
graciously revealed the radiance of your glory to the world,
grant, we pray,
that we may venerate with integrity of faith
the mystery of so wondrous an Incarnation
and always celebrate it with due reverence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for December 19)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.Access our archives of daily saint biographies here