Saturday, 5 December 2015

5th December - Sabbas of Mar Saba

 Also known as Sabbas the Sanctified & Sabbas the Great

Sabbas (439 – 532) was known as a simple man with little education but with a firm belief in the spiritual benefits of simple living. He was a hermit from the age of 20 and an anchorite from age 30. He lived in a cave and devoting himself to prayer and manual labour, weaving ten willow baskets each day. On Saturdays he would take them to the local monastery and trade them for a week's food and a week's worth of willow wands for more baskets. He eventually took over the leadership of over 1000 monks and hermits in the region.

Sabbas led a peaceful uprising of 10 000 monks who demanded the end of the persecutions of Palestinian bishops. At age 90, Sabbas travelled to Constantinople where he successfully pled for clemency from Justinian for Samarians who were in revolt.