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St. Sabas The Goth

By Edward O'Shaughnessy

Sabas was by birth a Goth, but converted to the true faith while he was still young. He loved to serve at Mass and sing the hymns in the church. He prayed much and often and did lots of penance. Though in 370 the prince forced Christians to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Sabas would not eat the meat and told people that they would no longer be Christians if they ate it. He thus saved many people but others did not like this and threw him out of the town. In 372 when the persecution was in greater fury, Sabas (since it was nearing Easter) decided to go to another town and stay with another priest. God in a dream told him to go back and spend Easter in the same town. But that night Atharidus with some soldiers burst in the house and bound Sabas's friend and pulled Sabas out of his bed. They dragged him naked over many thorns and briars and hit him with whips and staves. The next morning Sabas said, "Have you not dragged me quite naked over rough and thorny grounds? Observe whether my feet are wounded, or whether the blows you gave me have made any impression on my body." The soldiers could not find any marks so they became angry. He was then hung on a beam in a house and they hit him with the point of a javelin. But Sabas said, "Do you think you have slain me? Know that I felt no more pain than if the javelin had been a lock of wool." He was then ordered to be thrown in a river and drowned. Before this killed him, he praised God that he would be a martyr. His feast day is April 12. He will remain forever with Christ.

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