Saint Sabbas the Sanctified

December 5 is the Feast of Saint Sabbas (Sava) the Sanctified (439–532), a Cappadocian-Greek Monk, Priest and Hermit, who lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several monasteries, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The Saint’s name is derived from Hebrew סַבָא (sava’) meaning “old man”
sabbas
“When he was seventeen years old he received monastic tonsure. After spending ten years at the monastery of Bishop Flavian, he went to Jerusalem, and from there to the monastery of Saint Euthymius the Great. But Euthymius sent Sabbas to Abba Theoctistus, the head of a nearby monastery with a strict cenobitic rule. Sabbas lived in obedience at this monastery until the age of thirty.
After the death of the Elder Theoctistus, his successor blessed Sabbas to seclude himself in a cave. On Saturdays, however, he left his hermitage and came to the monastery, where he participated in divine services and ate with the brethren. After a certain time Sabbas received permission not to leave his hermitage at all, and he lived in isolation in the cave for five years.
Euthymius attentively directed the life of the young monk, and seeing his spiritual maturity, he began to take him to the Rouba wilderness with him. They set out each January 14 and remained there until Palm Sunday. Euthymius called Sabbas a child-elder, and encouraged him to grow in the monastic virtues.
When Euthymius died (c. 473), Sabbas withdrew from the lavra (a cluster of cells or caves for hermits, with a church and sometimes a refectory at the center) and moved to a cave near the monastery of St. Gerasimus of Jordan. After several years, disciples began to gather around Sabbas, seeking the monastic life. As the number of monks increased, the Great Lavra sprang up. The traditional dating of the founding of this lavra in the Kidron Valley, south of Jerusalem, is 484. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, the opposition continued and he withdrew to the New Lavra which he had built near Thekoa. In the lavras the young monks lived a cenobitical life, but the elders a semi-eremitical one, each in his own hut within the precincts of the lavra, attending only the solemn church services.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbas_the_Sanctified
sabbas 2
“The unknown village of Mutalaska, in the province of Cappadocia, became famous through this great light of the Orthodox Church, for St Sabbas was born there. He left the home of his parents, John and Sophia, at the age of eight and became a monk in a nearby monastery called ‘Flavian’s’ . After ten years, he moved to the monasteries of Palestine, staying longest in the monastery of St Euthymius the Great (Jan. 20th) and Theoctistus. Euthymius, who had the gift of discernment, foretold that he would be a famous monk and leader of monks, and that he would found a monastery that would be greater than any other of that day. After St Euthymius’s death, Sabbas went into the desert, where he lived for five years as a hermit in a cave which an angel of God showed him. After that, when he had become a perfected monk, he began by divine providence to gather round him many desirous of the spiritual life. They very quickly grew in number, so that Sabbas had to build both a church and many cells. Some Armenians also came to him, and he set aside a cave for them, and they celebrated the services there in their own language. When his father died, his aged mother Sophia came to him and he made her a nun and gave her a cell away from the monastery, where she lived in asceticism till her death. This holy father endured many attacks from those close to him, from heretics and from demons. But he overcame them all in these ways: those close to him he won over by his goodness and forbearance, the heretics by an unshakeable confession of the Orthodox faith, and the demons with the sign of the Cross and the invocation of God’s aid. He had a particularly severe battle with the demons on the mountain of Castellium, where he founded the second of his seven monasteries. He and his neighbour, Theodosius the Great, are considered to be the greatest lights and pillars of Orthodoxy in the East. Kings and Patriarchs were brought to the right Faith by them, and these holy and wonderful men, strong in the power of God, served each and every man as an example of humility. St Sabbas entered into rest in 532 at the age of ninety-four, after a life of great labour and great reward. Our Holy Fathers, the Martyrs of Karyes.”
http://www.stjohnthebaptist.org.au/en/saints/day.php?month=4&day=5&mode=xhtml
sabbas monastery
The Great Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified, known in Arabic as Mar Saba (Arabic: دير مار سابا‎; Hebrew: מנזר מר סבא‎; Greek: Λαύρα Σάββα τοῦ Ἡγιασμένου), is a Greek Orthodox monastery overlooking the Kidron Valley in the West Bank, Palestinian territories.
sabbas relics 2
The Relics of St Sabbas the Sanctified
sabbas church
The Katholicon of St. Sabbas Orthodox Monastery, Harper Woods, Michigan, USA

see further http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbas_the_Sanctified
http://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/12/05/103477-venerable-sava-the-sanctified
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sabbas_the_Sanctified
http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/sabbas.htm
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/12/saint-savvas-sanctified.html
http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/st-sabbas-sanctified-and-his-holy-lavra.html

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