Sabas was born at Mutalaska, Cappadocia, near Caesarea. He was the son of an army officer there who when assigned to Alexandria, left him in the care of an uncle. Mistreated by his uncle's wife, Sabas ran away to another uncle, though he was only eight. When the two uncles became involved in a lawsuit over his estate, he again ran away, this time to a monastery near Mutalaska. In time the uncles were reconciled and wanted him to marry, but he remained in the monastery. In 456, he went to Jerusalem and there entered a monastery under St. Theoctistus. When he was thirty, he became a hermit under the guidance of St. Euthymius, and after Euthymius' death, spent four years alone in the desert near Jericho. Despite his desire for solitude, he attracted disciples, organized them into a laura in 483, and when his one hundred fifty monks asked for a priest and despite his opposition to monks being ordained, he was obliged to accept ordination by Patriarch Sallust of Jerusalem in 491. He attracted disciples from Egypt and Armenia, allowed them a liturgy in their own tongue, and built several hospitals and another monastery near Jericho. He was appointed archimandrite of all hermits in Palestine who lived in separate cells, but his custom of going off by himself during Lent caused dissension in the monastery, and sixty of his monks left to revive a ruined monastery at Thecuna. He bore them no illwill and aided them with food and supplies. In 511, he was one of a delegation of abbots sent to Emperor Anastasius I, a supporter of Eutychianism, which Sabas opposed, to plead with the Emperor to mitigate his persecution of orthodox bishops and religious. They were unsuccessful. Sabas supported Elias of Jerusalem when the Emperor exiled him, was a strong supporter of theological orthodoxy, and persuaded many to return to orthodoxy. He was a vigorous opponent of Origenism and monophysitism. In 531, when he was ninety-one, he again went to Constantinople, this time to plead with Emperor Justinian to suppress a Samaritan revolt and protect the people of Jerusalem from further harassment by the Samritans. He fell ill soon after his return to his laura from this trip and died on December 5 at Laura Mar Saba, after naming his successor. Sabas is one of the most notable figures of early monasticism and is considered one of the founders of Eastern monasticism. The laura he founded in the desolate, wild country between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, named Mar Saba after him, was often called the Great Laura for its preeminence and produced many great saints. It is still inhabited by monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is one of the three or four oldest monasteries in the world. His feast day is December 5th.
Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He was the second of two sons ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
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Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
St. Joan de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1556. She married at the age of seventeen. The happy marriage produced four children, but her husband died suddenly in 1597. After her children were raised, she entered the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. Joan ... continue reading
Franciscan missionary and traveler. Born Odoric Mattiussi at Villanova, near Pordenone, Italy, he entered the Franciscans in 1300 and became a hermit. After several years, he took to preaching in the region of Udine, northern Italy, attracting huge crowds ... continue reading
By Billy Atwell
In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the year 107. He was torn ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes