St. Sabbas lived from 439-532. His connection with the Feast of Christmas is that, like Christ, he was dedicated to God from the beginning of his life, imitating him from his birth Therefore, he was called “the sanctified one.” He entered the monastery at the age of eight. He was the founder of the St. Sabbas monastery in the area of Bethlehem, close to the place of our Lord’s birth. It was the Typicon (the Rule of Life for a monastery) of this monastery that became the model for the Byzantine order of the Divine Office.
On the feast of St. Sabbas, the irmosi of the second Canon of Christmas are sung: “Reverent silence would run no risk; but love compels us, O Virgin, to a more difficult task: to weave well-wrought hymns of devotion. O Mother, give us the strength to do what we intend.” (Irmos, Ode 9) “Jesus called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. (Matthew 18:2-5)”
Meditation by Archpriest David Petras