Anysia was born to a wealthy and pious Christian family in Salonika. She dedicated herself to vows of chastity and poverty, praying and helping the poor. The legend of her martyrdom states that in 304, a Roman soldier apprehended her as she was on her way to services. Discovering she was a Christian, he beat her, and intended to drag her to a pagan temple to sacrifice to Roman gods. When he tore off her veil (a reminder of her vow of chastity), she spit in his face, and he murdered her.