18 December 2017
Today, the Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of St. Sabbas the Sanctified (439–532)
This outstanding ascetic of piety tied himself up in the picturesque rocky gorge of hard-to-reach places of the Judean Mountains at the end of the 5th century. The Great Lavra, founded by the Monk Sabbas, stretches on the western slope of a mountain range stretching from East Jerusalem along the Kidron stream 20 kilometers south of Jerusalem, 5 kilometers west of the Dead Sea.
The monastery owes its history to the works of the great saint and devotee of the piety of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, the Monk Sabbas the Sanctified, who comes here at the end of the 5-th century from distant Cappadocia, in order to seclude himself in prayer in the midst of these majestic mountains of the Judean Desert.
In the life of Saint Sabbas, the phenomenon of the Pillar of Fire is described, in the place of which the saint finds a cave, surprisingly reminiscent of a temple. So there was the most ancient temple on the territory of the monastery, dedicated to beloved Saint Sabbas - Saint Nicholas of Myra. Miracle-worker. The first church of the future Lavra is in the year 491. When the number of brethren exceeded 5,000 people, in 502 the Cathedral of the Annunciation appears, which is still the central cathedral of the church. We will try, as far as possible, gradually and progressively in chronological order, to disclose the life, deeds and wonders of this great elder, and also to take into account some of the testimonies of spiritual writers, local lore, travelers and various pilgrims about the life of the saint, and the beautiful Lavra in the heart of the Judean Desert.