Friday, April 27, 2012

Anastasius of Rome

Today we commemorate Anastasius. According to Orthodox Wiki:

Little is known of Anastasius' early life. Anastasius was born in Rome, the son of Maximus. His baptismal name may have been Innocentius, which according to the Liber Pontificalis was name of the father of Bp. Innocent I, his successor and of whom St. Jerome said Bp. Anastasius I was his father.

Anastasius was elected in 399 to the see of Rome as the successor to Bp. Siricius. During his short episcopate, Bp. Anastasius took action on two doctrinal issues. Rufinus, a friend of St. Jerome, produced a Latin translation of Origen's Peri Archon, making Origen's philosophy more widely available. As Jerome found fault with the orthodoxy of Origen's work, he and Rufinus came to dispute each other. The dispute elevated into an appeal to the then Bishop of Rome, Siricius, which in turn fell to Anastasius upon his succession. In 400, Anastasius called a council which found Origen's work heterodox. Anastasius acted, condemning Origen and deprecating Rufinus' translation.

Bp. Anastasius also supported the bishops in North Africa in their fight against the Donatist heretics. He also established a rule that any priest arriving from overseas must have a letter signed by five bishops before he could be received by the church in Rome.

Bp. Anastasius reposed on December 19, 401 and was succeeded by his son Innocent I. He was buried in the Catacomb of Pontian.

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