1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sabas, St
SABAS, ST (439–531), a Palestinian monk, born near Caesarea of Cappadocia. Becoming a monk in his childhood, he went to Jerusalem and lived as a hermit. After a time he established the “Great Laura” monastery in the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea, and later on the “New Laura,” under St Basil’s Rule. In the Lauras the young monks lived a cenobitical life, but the elders a semi-eremitical one, each in his own hut within the precincts of the Laura, attending only the solemn church services. Sabas was made exarch or superior of all the monasteries in Palestine, and composed a Typicon or Rule for their guidance. He took a prominent part, on the orthodox side, in the Monophysite and Origenistic controversies. His Laura long continued to be the most influential monastery in those parts, and produced several distinguished monks, among them St John of Damascus. It is now known as the monastery of Mar Saba. He is commemorated on the 5th of December.
Another saint of this name, surnamed “the Goth,” suffered martyrdom at the hands of Athanaric the Visigoth in the reign of Valentinian, and he is commemorated on the 12th of April in the Roman Martyrology, on varying days from 12th to 18th in the Greek Menologies.
Sabas’s Life was written by his disciple Cyril of Scythopolis. The chief modern authority is A. Ehrhard in Wetzer u. Welte’s Kirchenlexikon (ed. 2) and Römische Quartalschrift, vii.; see also Helyot, Histoire des ordres religieux (1714), i. c. 16, and Max Heimbucher, Orden u. Kongregationen (1907). i, § 10. (E. C. B.)