Popes in a Year
#39 - Pope St. Anastasius I
Pope from 399-401 A.D.
Died: 401 A.D.
pronounced ann-uh-STAY-see-uss or ann-uh-STAY-shuss
Give me the scoop on Anastasius I.
A pope who basically just stuck around long enough to see the 5th Century start, Anastasius was elected pope in November 399, soon after the death of Siricius. During his short reign, Anastasius I condemned the heresy of Origenism, a sect that believed primarily in universal salvation (i.e. nobody goes to Hell) and the soul existing before conception (it doesn’t). He also encouraged North African Catholics to battle Donatism, the “holier than thou” heresy that says only properly pious ministers can confer valid sacraments. Anastasius I died in December of 401. His feast was originally celebrated April 27, but was eventually changed to December 19.
What was he known for?
Anastasius had quite the arsenal of saintly friends, having been good buddies with the likes of St. Augustine and St. Jerome. In fact, St. Jerome once wrote about our good pope, saying Anastasius I was a “man of great holiness who was rich in poverty.”
We have still in existence a letter written by St. Anastasius I to Simplicianus, then the bishop of Milan. The letter was written to actively discourage the Church there from reading the heretical books of Origen, and can be
read in full here
. (Don’t worry, it’s short.)
What else was going on in the world at the time?
Around the year 400, the Chrysanthemum (flower) is first introduced into Japan after being grown in China for many centuries before.
"It is felt right that a shepherd should bestow great care and watchfulness upon his flock."
Pope St. Anastasius I
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Innocent I
SOURCES (and further reading)
- John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
- Pope St. Anastasius I -
- Pope Anastasius I -
- 400s -
Missed a day? Click here.
Click to share with friends!
About Popes in a Year
- We send these Monday-Friday (NOT on weekends)
- Know someone who wants to sign up? Send them to
Sent by Matthew Sewell on Thursday, February 23 at 2:00AM