Friday, March 31, 2006
St. Stephen of Mar Saba

Today we remember St. Stephen of Mar Saba, the nephew of St. John Damascene. This young saint was introduced to monastic life at the age of 10 by St. John Damascene. Later on in life, St. Stephen asked his superior at the monastery if he would be permitted to live a hermit's life of prayer. The answer - he could except on weekends when he was needed as a counselor.

St. Stephen was a highly spiritual and prayerful saint although he also valued periods of quiet prayer and contemplation. During those times of prayer he would place a sign on his door: "Forgive me, Fathers, in the name of the Lord, but please do not disturb me except on Saturdays and Sundays."

St. Stephen of Mar Saba died in 794 AD. One biographer of him wrote, "Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave. He received and honored all with the same kindness. He possessed nothing and lacked nothing. In total poverty he possessed all things."

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