Saint of the day 20141205

05 December
SAINT SABASAbbot(439-532)        

St. Sabas, one of the most renowned patriarchs of the monks of Palestine, was born in the year 439, near Cæsarea. In order to settle a dispute which had arisen between some of his relatives in regard to the administration of his estate, while still young he forsook the world and entered a monastery, wherein he became a model of fervor.        

When Sabas had been ten years in this monastery, being eighteen years old, he went to Jerusalem to visit the holy places, and attached himself to a monastery then under control of St. Euthymius; but on the death of the holy abbot our Saint sought the wilderness, where he chose his dwelling in a cave on the top of a high mountain, at the bottom of which ran the brook Cedron.        

After he had lived here five years, several came to him, desiring to serve God under his direction. He was at first unwilling to consent, but finally founded a new monastery of persons all desirous to devote themselves to praise and serve Goa without interruption.        

His great sanctity becoming known, he was ordained priest, at the age of fifty-three, by the patriarch of Jerusalem, and made Superior-General of all the anchorites of Palestine.        

He lived to be ninety-four, and died on the 5th of December, 532. Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

Other saints: St John Almond (c.1565-1612)John Almond (or Lathom or Molyneux) was born at Allerton near Liverpool of Catholic parents about 1565 and went to school at Much Woolton. After studying at Reims he went to the English College in Rome, where in due course he was ordained priest. In 1602 he returned to England as a secular priest and ministered to Catholics there. He was arrested briefly in 1608, and then again in 1612. In November of that year, seven priests had escaped from prison, and this may have sharpened the zeal of those who interrogated him. He displayed to the last great skill in argument; the account of his death describes him as “a reprover of sin, a good example to follow, of an ingenious and acute understanding, sharp and apprehensive in his conceits and answers, yet complete with modesty, full of courage and ready to suffer for Christ, that suffered for him.” He refused to sign the Oath of Allegiance in the form in which it was offered him, but offered to swear that he bore in his heart “so much allegiance to King James as he, or any Christian king, could expect by the law of nature, or the positive law of the true Church, be it which it will, ours or yours.” He was committed to Newgate and within a few months was brought to trial as a seminary priest. Having been duly convicted he was hanged, drawn, and quartered on 5 December 1612 at Tyburn, London.

Other saints: Saint Birinus Saint Birinus was sent to England as a missionary by Pope Honorius I about the year 634; on his way, he was consecrated bishop in Genoa. He had intended to work in a remote part of Britain but when he found that the West Saxons were still pagan he stayed among them and baptised their King and a good number of his followers during his fifteen years’ apostolate. He died about 650 and the main Church of the West Saxons which he had established at Dorchester-on-Thames was later moved to Winchester, as were the relics of Saint Birinus.

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