Deir el-Muqalik - THEOCTISTUS


<Sabas presents himself to Euthymius, asking to be admitted to his laura. but, being very young, is entrusted by the holy man to Theoctistus in the lower monastery.>

Coming under blessed Theoctistus’ guidance, our father Sabas devoted himself completely to God. What (money) he had from his family he surrendered into the hegumen’s hands, and stripped for the contest, spending his days in physical toil and his night without sleep in giving praise to the Lord. He made humility and obedience the root and foundation of his behaviour, was always ready and zealous in the canonical office of the divine liturgy, the first to come into church and the last to leave it. Besides his spiritual qualities, physically he was handsomely and nobly built, and when all the others cut one load of mannouthion in the desert and carried it back to the monastery, he would cut and bring back three loads every day. Besides, he eagerly helped the monks in charge of the various services of the coenobium, carrying water and hewing wood, and fulfilling all the other services. For a rather long time he was also mule-driver, and to whatever other services he was assigned, he performed all blamelessly and faultlessly, so that the fathers of the coenobium marvelled at such virtue and aptness at so young an age.

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

The young Sabas enters Theoctistus’ monastery, AD 457.