Apr. 24 The Holy Martyr Sabbas the General 

Bulletin as of April 23 2024

The holy martyr Sabbas Stratelates came from a Gothic tribe. For his bravery, he attained the high rank of military commander, or “stratelates,” and he served under the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-275). From his youth, Sabbas was a Christian and he fervently followed the commands of Christ. He helped the needy, and visited Christians in prison. Because of his pure and virtuous life, the saint received from the Lord the gift of wonderworking, healing the sick, and cast out demons in the name of Christ. When the emperor learned that St. Sabbas was a Christian, he demanded that he apostatize. The martyr threw down his military belt and declared that he would not forsake his faith. They beat him, burned him with torches, and threw him into a cauldron with tar, but the martyr remained unharmed. Looking in at his torments, seventy soldiers came to believe in Christ. They were beheaded by the sword. St. Sabbas was thrown in prison. At midnight, while he was praying, Christ appeared before the martyr and shone on him the light of His Glory. The Savior bade him not to fear, but to stand firm. Encouraged, the Martyr Sabbas underwent new torture in the morning and was drowned in a river in 272.


Casting off the robes of dignity and honor, O martyr, you confessed Christ before the torturer, the evil king. For this you were subjected to great sufferings, O glorious one, and you obtained a crown of victory from the King of all. You have been placed among heaven’s legions. Therefore, pray for the salvation of our souls, O Sabbas.


Showing yourself an invincible Goth, you slayed the barbarians. Enduring a martyrdom of extreme cruelty, you crushed legions of unseen devils. You assumed a crown of victory, O blessed Sabbas, and we ask you to intercede with Christ for us.


Acts 14: 6-18

In those days, Paul and Barnabas fled to the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Oebre and to the surrounding country, where they continued to proclaim the good news.

At Lystra there was a man who was lame from birth; he used to sit crippled, never having walked in his life. On one occasion he was listening to Paul preaching, and Paul looked directly at him and saw that he had the faith to be saved. Paul called out to him in a loud voice, “Stand up! On your feet!” The man jumped up and began to walk around. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, “Gods have come to us in the form of men!” They named Barnabas Zeus; and Paul they called Hermes, since he was the spokesman. Even the priests of the temple of Zeus, which stood outside the town, brought oxen and garlands to the gates because he wished to offer sacrifice to them with the crowds.

When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowds. “Friends, why do you do this?” they shouted frantically. “We are only men, human like you. We are bringing you the good news that will convert you from just such follies as these to the living God, ‘the one who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them.’ In past ages he let the Gentiles go their way. Yet in bestowing his benefits, he has not hidden himself completely, without a clue. From the heavens he sends down rain and rich harvests; your spirit he fills with food and delight.” Yet even with a speech such as this, they could scarcely stop the crowds from offering sacrifice to them. 


John 7: 14-30

At that time the feast of Tabernacles was half over by the time Jesus went into the temple area and began to teach. The Jews were filled with amazement and said, “how did this man get his education when he had no teacher?”

This was Jesus‘s answer: “My doctrine is not my own; it comes from him who sent me. Any man who chooses to do his will will know about this doctrine – namely, whether it comes from God or is simply spoken on my own. Whoever speaks on his own is bent on self-glorification. The man who seeks glory for him who sent him is truthful; there is no dishonesty in his heart. Moses has given you the law, has he not? Yet not one of you keeps it. Why do you look for a chance to kill me?”

“You are mad!” The crowd retarded. “Who wants to kill you?” Jesus answered: “I have performed a single work and you profess astonishment over it. Moses gave you circumcision though it did not originate with Moses but with the patriarchs. And so, even on a Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man can be circumcised on the sabbath to prevent a violation of Mosaic law, how is it that you are angry with me for curing a whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by appearances and make an honest judgment.”

This led some of the people of Jerusalem to remark: “Is this not the one they want to kill? Here he is speaking in public and they don’t say a word to him! Perhaps even the authorities have decided that this is the Messiah. Still, we know where this man is from. When the Messiah comes, no one is supposed to know his origins.”

At this, Jesus, who was teaching in the temple area, cried out: “So you know me, and you know my origins? The truth is, I have not come of myself. I was sent by One who has the right to send, and him you do not know. I know him because it is from him I come: he sent me.”

At this they tried to see him, but no one laid a finger on him because his hour had not yet come.

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com

Tuesday, April 23 –

  • 9:21 PM