Late 19th Century Original Retablo Oil Painting on Tin created in Mexico.
Retablo dimensions are approx. 10 inches horizontal x 7 inches vertical.
Condition: in excellent, clean, original condition with some minor paint loss acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer.
Saint Anastasius was born in Persia, and was given the name Magundar. His father was a Sorcerer and Magician who owned a School of Magic in which Magundar himself later instructed, being one of the best pupils of his father. As a young man, Magundar became a soldier to the Court of the King Chosroes. Inside the Court, Magundar learned that the King had captured an important Relic during the plunder of Jerusalem, and had transported it to Persia. An extraordinary Relic that believers called Christians worshiped and held in great esteem: The Holy Cross.
The thought of this powerful Relic stirred his curiosity greatly, and knowing that there were Christians captured and transported with the Relic, he asked them to talk about The Cross and its meaning. These spoke to him of Christ, the Redemption and other Mysteries of the Faith and the Holy Texts of The Lives of the Martyrs.
King Chosroes was determined to exterminate the Christian Church forever, and sent his Army to Chalcedon in Asia Minor located almost directly opposite Byzantium. The Army of Chosroes sealed the city, but the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius surprised and routed the Persian Army. Magundar and his brother took advantage of the chaos of the defeat and escaped to the Holy Land.
Magundar was consumed to know the Christian Faith and to convert to Christianity. When he arrived in Heriápolis, he became an apprentice to a Christian Persian Silversmith, who for fear of the Governor of the City, did not allow him to be baptized yet. Still curious for deeper understanding of the Christian Faith, he went to Jerusalem. There, he continued as a Silversmith with another Christian who introduced him to the Basilica of the Resurrection, where he was baptized with other Persians converts. It was the year 620 and he was 19 years old.
In baptism, he was re-named Anastasius, and entered a Monastery near Jerusalem. In Monastic life, he became a gardener and a cook, very pious and helpful to the sick. He was yet tempted to employ his skills as a Magician to heal infirmity with the Magic Arts, but he overcame this temptation with his faith and his obedience. He continued reading the Holy Texts of the Lives of the Martyrs, and wished to be one of them. One day, he had a vision that God gave him a wine-filled chalice, and he understood that his desire had been granted; he would be a martyr. He told the Abbot of his vision, and he was allowed to go in search of the Lord who called him to a Land of Torments.
Anastasius departed, arrived at Caesarea, Palestine, where he visited Mount Carmel and his Carmelite Brothers. In the city, he preached to local Magicians about his mistakes and the error of their ways, and went to the house of Governor Marcabanas, who was absent, to preach the Christian Faith. There, they beat him and put him in jail for three days. When the governor returned, he began the interrogation and encouraged Anastasius to abandon the Christian Faith and the Monastic Profession, promising him honors and riches. Upon Anastasius' refusal, he was made a slave with other Christians. Chained by his feet and neck, he was put to work hauling stones. After a few months, he was taken back to Court, but they found him even more firm in his Faith and Convictions, so the Judge determined Anastasius be whipped. He was whipped brutally, and then thrown into jail.
It happened then that Chosroes had heard of Anastasius' capture, and being his former soldier, Chosroes demanded that he be returned as he was a Persian citizen. Governor Marcabanas, annoyed at not having been able to convince Anastasius to renounce his Faith, sent word telling Anastasius that if he would at least deny the Christian faith in secret before two witnesses, the Governor would set him free to live his monastic life. Upon Anastasius further refusal, he was returned to Chosroes in Persia. During his transportation, wherever he passed in custody, the Faithful went out to meet him, asking for prayers and cures.
Arriving in Persia, Anastasius was again approached promises and threats, which only increased the Faith and Constancy of the Saint. Again he was brutally whipped and tortured. God revealed it to him that night that the end of his life was near, Anastasius urged his brothers in prison to prepare themselves together for Martyrdom. The next day he was taken with seventy other prisoners, Christians and Pagan criminals alike, to a river to be drowned. Anastasius was left until the last, to further torment and cower him. But the cruelty made him even more courageous. When it was his turn, they drowned him in the river, and then his head was cut off. He was martyred on January 22, 628.