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International exhibition dedicated to St. Anastasia of Sirmium

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Council of Europe,
General Secretary

Piedmont region

Yaroslavl region

Province of Cuneo



Sremska Mitrovica


Saint Anastasia - a hope for peace

The original idea of the project was the brining back the memory of St. Anastasia of Sirmio to European people. Her name means Resurrection and the commemoration of the martyrdom is celebrated on Christmas day. The Benedictine Monks spread her cult in Occident, whereas the Basle Monks did it in Orient and in the South of Italy.

Anastasia was born in 281 A.D. and carried out merciful activities in the prisons of Sirmio, in the Illyria (the area of the Balkans, which is now located close to the border with Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia), where she died in 304. Afterwards she has been venerated for a millennium by the people that used to live there. She was beatified in 467 and her memorabilia were transferred to Constantinople and deposited in the Basilica of the Resurrection of the Saviour (the Anastasis).

Nowadays, Saint Anastasia – that represents one of the main Christian roots in the European history – is a perfect symbol of Peace, humanity and solidarity. She is a symbol of dialogue and collaboration between the two «lungs» of the Christianity, given that she has been recognised as Great Martyr both by the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches.

In the last twenty years the «Saint Anastasia Committee», promoter of the initiative, has carried out a series of actions:

  • 1989-1991 – The restoration of the wall paintings of the fifth century, located in the Benedictine chapel of St. Anastasia in the diocese of Mondovì, in Sale San Giovanni in the Langhe region (province of Cuneo, Italy);
  • 1994 – The construction of the church of St. Anastasia in Uchma along the Volga (Region of Jaroslavl, Russia);
  • 1995-1996 – The shipment of two icons of St. Anastasia on the space station "Mir" for seven months and the following pilgrimage of the icons across Europe, in the sites where the Saint is venerated. These two icons had been previously blessed by the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow.
  • 1997 – The construction of the wooden chapel of St. Anastasia and of the Reconciliation in Magliano Alfieri, in the diocese of Alba. The chapel had been precasted in Russia, then transported and installed in Italy.

Now, the final action of the initiative is taking place. It includes the organization and the production of a sequence of international exhibitions dedicated to St. Anastasia, entitled «The Art for Peace in Europe and in the World». Four exhibitions have already taken place in 2005-2006 in Sremska Mitroviza (ex Sirmio), Belgrade (Serbia), Yaroslavl (Russia) and Zadar (Croatia). The final exhibition will be held in Mondovì (in Piedmont) from the 21st of September to the 28th of October 2007.

The objective of this cultural action consists in giving voice to the artists from Europe and the other continents on the subject of the Peace all over the World through the symbolic character of Saint Anastasia of Sirmio (281-304). From the fifth century she was recognised the procuress of sick and oppressed people, of the recluses, of the women giving birth and the people dead during the earthquakes. She was a woman of peace and pity, curator of the injuries inflicted by the war, the fanaticism and the opportunism. Today the "procuress functions" of Saint Anastasia could be broadened to people that are buried under the debris of the bombings and the terrorist attacks, given that since the early age, Anastasia of Sirmio has been considered the messenger of the values of life.

The initiative was born in 1998 at the foot of the Alps and carried on to the banks of the Volga in 2004, the year of the 1700th anniversary of the martyrdom of Anastasia. Finally it has shored in the Balkans and has evolved in the three main geographical and historical areas of the European Union (where the nations tend to establish an efficient and harmonious relationship among its populations and cultures).

The initiative «Saint Anastasia – a hope for peace» has gained the blessing of the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow and has obtained the patronage from UNESCO, the Secretary-General of the European Council, the Papal Council of Culture, the Piedmont Region, the Province of Cuneo and the Yaroslavl Region, as well as from all the cities where took place the exhibition and from the dioceses of Yaroslavl, Zadar and Mondovì.

In this particular moment of the making of this new European reality - oriented towards a better future and extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Artic Ocean – Saint Anastasia could be intended as the common Patron of all the European people.

Persons who supported the project

Life of St. Anastasia

© Pierre Tchakhotine, texts and photos© Alexey Sokolov, web-development