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St. Sabbas the Goth

Saint Sabbas the Goth


Sabbas was born in the year of Our Lord 334, in what is now Romania. He converted to Christianity as a young man, and served primarily as a cantor. Around the year 370, the rulers of the Gothic people began to persecute Christians, especially by requiring the consumption of meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Sabbas spoke out publicly against compliance, even if the unclean meats were secretly switched out for clean ones by friendly officials, since this would still bring scandal. As a result, Sabbas was temporarily banished from his town by weaker Christians. Just before Easter in the year of Our Lord 372, pagan soldiers arrested Sabbas. Their tortures seemed to have no effect, and he did not even try to escape when given an opportunity. After refusing yet again to eat unclean meats, he was sentenced to death by drowning. On the way to the river, the soldiers considered secretly releasing him, but Sabbas urged them to obey their orders. Praising God to the very last, Sabbas was held under the water by a wooden rod or branch, and thus martyred by water and wood, the symbols of baptism and the Holy Cross.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 12th

AT Verona, the martyrdom of the bishop St. Zeno, who governed that Church with great fortitude amidst the storms of persecution, and was crowned with martyrdom in the days of Gallienus.

In Cappadocia, in the reign of the emperor Valens, in the persecution raised against Christians by Athanaric, king of the Goths, St. Sabas, a Goth, who was cast into a river after undergoing cruel torments. According to St. Augustine, many other Christian Goths were at that time adorned with the crown of martyrdom.

At Braga, in Portugal, St. Victor, martyr, who although only a catechumen, refused to adore an idol, and confessed Jesus Christ with great constancy. After suffering many tortures, he was beheaded, and thus merited to be baptized in his own blood.

At Fermo, in the Marches, St. Vissia, virgin and martyr.

At Rome, on the Aurelian road, the birthday of pope St. Julius, who combated vigorously for the Catholic faith against the Arians. After a life of brilliant deeds and great sanctity, he rested in peace.

At Gap, St. Constantine, bishop and confessor.

At Pavia, St. Damian, bishop.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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