Our Pilgrimage to the Monastery of Saint Sabbas

Our Pilgrimage to the Monastery of Saint Sabbas


Fr. Panayiotis: All the men please join me and we’ll go inside the women please stay in the shade they will bring holy relics for
you to venerate. We’ll go inside, we’ll venerate and we’ll come out. We should be leaving here in less than an hour. Monk: The monastery here is from the fifth century. Saint Sabbas came here in AD 478 and he was staying in a cave … we’ll see
from here. We could take a look. Saint Sabbas was already living in the
desert was four years before he came here. He was roaming and sleeping in the sand and eating only roots that he dug from the ground and he was sleeping one night he had a vision and he
was shown this cave and he was told to come here to colonize the desert. So, he
started living and for five years he remained by himself until AD 483 when he started
receiving the first monks who came to stay with him and they filled the
Kidron valley. So the patriarch who was friends with Saint Sabbas, he was a disciple of St. Euthymius the Great so he knew Saint Sabbas very well. He said okay well come tomorrow and you know we’ll decide what to do. So he called saying Sabbas to be there the next day and Saint Sabbas was there
and the monks were there and he said here’s your abbot and he made it
official and then he consecrated this church it made Saint Sabbas accept the
priesthood in AD 491. So he made it official. First he told them, who
started this him or you how can you throw out him he can throw out you but
you can’t throw out him … eventually many of the monks who were secretly Origenist
left the monastery and they went out and they tried to destroy the monastery but they found themselves walking around in a cloud in the desert not being able to
see. Eventually they found a ruined place near Hebron and it was … they were living
in this ruined out you know you could say like these people living in these
abandoned buildings today and Saint Sabbas went there he built them a monastery.
There were no hard feelings Fr. Panayiotis: One is called the typikon of Saint Sabbas which was developed in this monastery and it’s a liturgical typikon
and it’s used throughout the church by the monasteries most of the
monasteries and of course Russia has incorporated that into the liturgical
life the church. The Church of Constantinople simplified it then we have what we call
the Cathedral typikon which we use in the parishes today which is a more
simplified they cut things from it. So what year’s are we talking about when Saint Sabbas was active? Monk: As the Abbot here it was AD 491 but before that in 483 he became the leader of the monastery. In 491 he became a priest and in 533 he died. He was active until he died at 96 years old. Fr. Panayiotis: So it was after the 4th Ecumenical Council, the time of Justinian. Monk: He met Justinian before he died.
The monks here were very strong against the Monophysites there was a whole
thing going on at that time where the Emperor was trying to impose the Monophysite patriarch on the people of Jerusalem. First there was a Patriarch Elias who was also disciple of Saint Euthymios the Great and he refused to denounce the Council of Chalcedon. so he was thrown in prison and another one was to take his place named John who had sort of agreed to
condemn the Council of Chalcedon. But this was kind of a ruse and while he
was in prison before he was led out he met with some of the leaders of
monasticism here who told them that go along with it and then when you’re ready
to denounce it we all gather here and 10,000 monks came from the desert and
they denounced all those who don’t accept the Council of Chalcedon. Anathema to them who don’t accept the four councils as the four Gospels and so
even though the Emperor was with his forces here the Duke or whatever …
they couldn’t do anything because of the amount of monks that were gathered here so Chalcedon was accepted officially by the Patriarch here. [Apolytikion of St. Sabbas being chanted]

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