Saint Sabbas of Ioannina

It is not known where Saint Sabbas was born. He lived a life of asceticism in the Holy Monastery of the Honorable Forerunner on an island in the lake of Ioannina around the middle of the XV century. He was the Spiritual Father of Saints Nektarios (+ 1550) and Theophanes (+ 1544), who were descended from the distinguished Apsaras family of the Byzantine Empire. They are commemorated jointly on May 17.

Saint Sabbas was the son of an aristocratic family, and from an early age he loved the poverty of Jesus Christ. Until his last breath, he lived as a humble and poor hermit. No one ever saw him angry, judgmental, or as a person who remembered wrongs. His heart overflowed with humility, concerning which he himself said: “Humility is the solid and indestructible cornerstone upon which the spiritual life is built.”

He was a hechycast, and his ascetical life was very strict. He prayed every night until morning. His food was plain, and he ate very little. No meat, fish, or cheese ever appeared on his table, and he never poured a drop of oil on his food.

Saint Sabbas reposed peacefully in 1505. When he delivered his soul to the Lord, an inexpressible fragrance arose from the tabernacle of his body. The saint was buried in the monastery of Honorable Forerunner. A holy relic of the saint is kept and revered in the Roussanou Monastery of the Transfiguration at Meteora.