St. Savvas the Sanctified icon (2)
Orthodox Icon of Saint Savvas, Sabbas the Sanctified (2). Copy of 13 cent. icon
Commemorated December 5th.
Saint Savvas was born in the village of Mutalaska, in the province of Cappadocia. When he was seventeen years old he received monastic tonsure. After spending ten years at the monastery of St Flavian, he went to Jerusalem, and then to the monastery of St Euthymius the Great (January 20). But St Euthymius sent St Savas to Abba Theoctistus, the head of a nearby monastery with a strict cenobitic rule. St Savas lived in obedience at this monastery until the age of thirty. After the death of the Elder Theoctistus, he was blessed to seclude himself in a cave.
On Saturdays, however, Saint Savvas left his hermitage and came to the monastery, where he participated in divine services and ate with the brethren. He struggled in the cave for five years. When St Euthymius fell asleep in the Lord (+ 473), St Sava withdrew from the Lavra and moved to a cave near the monastery of St Gerasimus of Jordan (March 4). After several years, disciples began to gather around St Savas, seeking the monastic life. A lavra sprang up. When a pillar of fire appeared before St Savas as he was walking, he found a spacious cave in the form of a church.
St Savas founded several more monasteries. Many miracles took place through the prayers of St Savas: at the Lavra a spring of water welled up, during a time of drought there was abundant rain, and there were also healings of the sick and the demoniacs. St Savas composed the first monastic Rule of church services, the so-called u201cJerusalem Typikon, accepted by all the Palestine monasteries. The saint surrendered his soul to God in the year 532. His Great Lavra 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