This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5 -- Feast of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified

Sabas the Sanctified in Mar Saba
How's this for irony?  Saint Sabbas was a hermit who moved to Transjordania in order to avoid the squabbling of priests, monks, and other clergy.  His monastery, Mar Saba, is still operated by Eastern Orthodox monks.  His relics -- body and garments -- were taken to Italy by Crusaders, but returned to Mar Saba by Pope Paul VI in 1965 as an ecumenical gesture. Thus, the monk who disliked strife takes his eternal rest in the West Bank, of all placed. 

Great story about the strife, by the way.  He moved out of the monastery at some point because the brothers were quarreling so much.  His worst critics, believing that he had been eaten by a lion (wishful thinking), sent a letter to the Patriarch in Jerusalem, asking that another archimandrite of all monasteries be appointed.  As chance would have it, Sabbas just happened to be arriving for an audience with the Patriarch when the letter was delivered.  The Patriarch supported his archimandrite and the brothers were promptly put back in their places. 

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