March 20, 2019 Length: 1:20
The holy Monastery of St Sabbas is still in existence today, by the providence of God, though several times in its history it has been plundered and left empty. At one time it was attacked by Arab raiders. The monks considered fleeing, but their abbot, Thomas, said, 'We have fled from the world into this wilderness for the love of Christ; it would be shameful for us now to flee from the wilderness for fear of men. If we are killed here, we shall be killed through love for Christ, for whose sake we have come here to live.' So the monks agreed with one mind to wait their attackers unarmed. The Arabs killed some with arrows, and shut some in the cave of St Sabbas, lighting a fire at the entrance to suffocate them with smoke. The whole company of monks were thus privileged to give their lives for Christ's sake.
Accounts of the date differ substantially: the Great Horologion says that they died during the reign of the Emperor Heraclius, when St Modestus was Patriarch of Jerusalem (632-634); the Prologue that they died in 796 during the reign of Constantine and Irene, when Elias was Patriarch of Jerusalem.