The son of a Serbian king who was also a saint, St. Sabas was born Rastko c. 1173/ 76; at 17, to avoid marriage, he fled to Mt. Athos, where he became a monk and founded the Hilander Monastery. In 1196, King Stephen I of Serbia abdicated, and taking the name Symeon, joined his son on Mt. Athos. Symeon died three years later, and Sabas, Archbishop of Serbia, translated his father's relics to their native land in 1208. Sabas wrote a history of his father's reign and a service to his father, the earliest known Serbian hynmography in Church Slavonic. Sabas copied books of law and compiled the Nomocanon, a book of canon laws. He was responsible for having liturgical documents translated from Greek into Serbian and for compiling two Serbian Typica. Because of his experience with Roman bishops and leaders on Athos after the Venetian sack of Constantinople in 1204, Sabas opposed the pro-Roman policies of his brother, Stephen II, the only Serbian king crowned by a pope. From 1217- 1219/ 20, Sabas was in exile, during which he persuaded the patriarch of Constantinople to grant the Serbian and Bulgarian churches autocephaly. When he returned to Serbia, he recrowned his brother. Sabas resigned as archbishop in 1230 /33 and travelled to the Holy Land, where he visited monasteries at Sketis, the Thebiad, and Mt. Sinai. He died in Bulgaria on his trip back from the Holy Land c. 1235/ 1237 King Ladislas of Serbia translated the relics of St. Sabas to Milesevo, a monastery the saint had founded shortly before his death. The Turks burned the relics in 1594.
Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
What we know of St. Elizabeth comes from the Gospel, the book of Luke, in particular. In Luke, Elizabeth, a daughter of the line of Aaron, and the wife of Zacharias, was "righteous before God" and was "blameless" but childless. Elizabeth is also a cousin to the Virgin ... continue readingMore Female Saints
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. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the seventeenth century in the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples. From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and in his sixteenth year he entered the Franciscan Order of the Strictest Observance, or ... continue reading
St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes