Did you know this about Anastasia?

I don’t even want to reference the other Anastasia that’s been flooding the media, so I won’t (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, blessed are you), but I will say that this gorgeous name has a tiny bit of a taint for me at the moment. But then I read this today, and while I’ll have to do some digging to find out more (and I don’t have time right now, as a certain 11 month old wants breakfast), I’ll just leave you with it, and if you know more, please share!

Anastasius, common in the Greek Church, was seldom used in the West, but Anastasia, the name of a 4th-C martyr mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, became a general favorite, and in medieval legend was attached to the Virgin’s midwife.”

The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, EG Withycombe (21)


4 thoughts on “Did you know this about Anastasia?

  1. […] I posted a quote the other day from The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names by EG Withycombe stating that Anastasia “in medieval legend was attached to the Virgin’s midwife.” Which basically blew my mind. I’m not unaware of the Nativity story, you know? And yet I’d never once even considered the idea that Our Lady had a midwife. On the one hand — wasn’t Jesus’ birth miraculous, “without any violation to her physical, external virginity. As the Fathers of the Church explained, as ‘light passes through glass without harming the glass’, so Jesus was born with Mary’s Virginity ‘in tact’, that is with the preservation of her physical virginity“? So, you know, what would a midwife do? But then, as this possibility presented itself, I thought, surely it does make sense that Our Lady would have a midwife, especially if she and/or St. Joseph was/were unaware of how the birth would proceed. And midwives do more than just catch the baby, don’t they? It makes perfect sense that Our Lady would have women attend her, to help her through labor, to wipe her brow, to soothe St. Joseph. If I’m suggesting a scene that doesn’t fit with Church tradition, please tell me! […]


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