Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/357

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The Sixth Age

The Persians overrun the Holy Land.
[A.D. 614.]
The Persians were most formidable enemies of the empire, and took away many Roman provinces, and The Persians among the rest Jerusalem itself; moreover they destroyed the churches and profaned whatever was holy, spoiling every place of its ornaments, not sparing even the Cross of our Lord, which they took away.[1]

A.M. 4591 [640].

Heraclius reigned 26 years. St. Anastasius Anastasius, a Persian monk, nobly suffered martyrdom for Christ: born in Persia he was early instructed in the learning of the Magi by his father, but having heard the name of Christ from some Christian captives, he presently turned to him with all his heart, and leaving Persia he came to Chalcedon, and Hierapolis, and thence to Jerusalem, seeking Christ; then, after receiving the grace of baptism, he entered the monastery of the abbot Anastasius, four miles from the city, in which order he lived 7 years; after which having gone to Cæsarea in Palestine to preach, he was there taken by the Persians, and after undergoing, from the sentence of Marzabanes, a long imprisonment diversified by frequent scourgings, he was at length sent to Persia to their king Chosroes, by whose command he was scourged three times, and finally, after being suspended by one hand for three hours, was beheaded with 70 others, and thus completed his martyrdom. A certain man possessed with a devil was afterwards cured by putting on his vest. Meanwhile the emperor Heraclius, coming over with an army, overthrew the Persians, and brought back the Christian captives rejoicing. The relics of this blessed martyr Anastasius were taken first to his own monastery and thence to
  1. The birth of Mahomet, A.D. 571. He promulgates the Koran, A. D. 612, His flight from Mecca to Medina, July 16, A.D. 622, the Hegyra ; his death, A.D. 632. The Saracens took Jerusalem, A.D. 636, and retained possession of it for 463 years. They destroyed the library of Alexandria, A. D. 640.