Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Anastasius the Sinaite, Anchoret

Saint Anastasius of Sinai by RembrandtArticle

He testifies of himself, that in his tender years he listened to the gospel with no less respect than if he had heard Christ himself speak; and received the blessed eucharist with the same love and tenderness as if he embraced him visibly present.—After visiting the holy places at Jerusalem, he went to mount Sinai, and was so much edified by the sight of the angelical lives of the hermits who inhabited it, that he built himself a cell among them. Here, perfectly dead to all earthly things and to himself, he deserved, by prayer and obedience, to receive from God the double talent of wisdom and spiritual science, the treasures of which are only communicated to the humble. He often left his desert to defend the church. At Alexandria he publicly convicted certain chiefs of the Acephali heretics, that, in condemning Saint Flavian, they had condemned all the fathers of the church, insomuch that the people could scarcely be contained from stoning them. He confuted them by an excellent work entitled Odegus, or the Guide; in which, besides refuting the Eutychian errors, he lays down rules against all heresies. He has also left several ascetic works, full of piety and devotion. In his discourse on the Synaxis, or mass, he urges the duties of the confession of sins to a priest, respect at mass, and pardon of injuries in so pathetic a manner, that Canisius and Combefis recommended this piece to the diligent perusal of all preachers. This saint was living in 678, as Ceillier demonstrates from certain passages in his Odegus.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Anastasius the Sinaite, Anchoret”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 22 April 2013. Web. 27 August 2014. <>