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TheHolyArt

Saint Savvas icon, Handmade Greek Orthodox icon of St Savvas the Sanctified, Byzantine art wall hanging on wood plaque, religious home decor

Saint Savvas icon, Handmade Greek Orthodox icon of St Savvas the Sanctified, Byzantine art wall hanging on wood plaque, religious home decor

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Saint Savas the Sanctified (439–532), a Cappadocian-Greek monk, priest and saint, lived mainly in Palaestina Prima. He was the founder of several monasteries, most notably the one known as Mar Saba. The Saint's name is derived from the Hebrew meaning "old man". St. Savas was born at Mutalaska, near Caesarea of Cappadocia, the son of John, a military commander, and Sophia.


Journeying to Alexandria on military matters, his parents left their five-year-old son in the care of an uncle. When the boy reached eight years of age, he entered the nearby monastery of Bishop Flavian of Antioch. The gifted child quickly learned to read and became an expert on the Holy Scriptures. In vain did his parents urge St. Savas to return to the world and enter into marriage.


When he was seventeen years old he received monastic tonsure. After spending ten years at the monastery of Bishop Flavian, he went to Jerusalem, and from there to the monastery of Saint Euthymius the Great. But Euthymius sent the saint 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, his successor blessed St. Savas to seclude himself in a cave. On Saturdays, however, he left his hermitage and came to the monastery, where he participated in divine services and ate with the brethren. After a certain time St. Savas received permission not to leave his hermitage at all, and he lived in isolation in the cave for five years.


Euthymius attentively directed the life of the young monk, and seeing his spiritual maturity, he began to take him to the Rouba wilderness with him. They set out each January 14 and remained there until Palm Sunday. Euthymius called the saint a child-elder, and encouraged him to grow in the monastic virtues.


When Euthymius died (c. 473), St. Savas withdrew from the lavra (a cluster of cells or caves for h

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