St. Sabas, born at Cappadocia, was the son of an army officer there who when assigned to Alexandria, left him in the care of an uncle. Mistreated by his uncle’s wife, Sabas ran away to a monastery near Mutalaska.
When he was thirty, he became a hermit under the guidance of St. Euthymius, and after Euthymius’ death, spent four years alone in the desert near Jericho.
He attracted disciples from Egypt and Armenia, allowed them a liturgy in their own tongue, and built several hospitals and another monastery near Jericho.
St. Sabas is one of the most notable figures of early monasticism and is considered one of the founders of Eastern monasticism. The monastery he founded in the desolate, wild country between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, named Mar Saba after him, was often called the Great Laura for its preeminence and produced many great saints. It is still inhabited by monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is one of the three or four oldest monasteries in the world. His feast day is December 5th.