Jan 14th - Sabas
Eastern Saints need to be celebrated in the West as well, especially when they had a hand in shaping Europe.
Sabas born into royalty as the son of Stephen I, he became a monk on Mount Athos in Greece, eventually joined by his father when he gave up his crown. Together they founded a monastery in the region for Serbs. This brought him back into the political realm in the fight between his brothers. He rose up to become Metropolitan over Serbia and established many monasteries that still exist to this day, despite oppression.
It was his efforts at reconciliation and peace in the political realm, education and religious orthodoxy and translations into the vernacular in the religious realm that captures our attention.
The stabilization of the Balkan region helped keep Christian Europe safe from invasion. His peace and holiness as well as his upbringing made him a natural diplomat to the Holy Land. He died on his way home, but his legacy lives on and he intercedes for us from his place in Heaven.
Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
-- Mark 1:21-28
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