Catholic Encyclopedia – Sara

detail from 'Abraham, Sarah, and the Angel' by Jan Provost, c.1500, Musée du Louvre, ParisArticle

Sara (Hebrew for “princess”; another form, Sarai, the signification of which is doubtful, is found in passages occurring before Genesis 17:15).

Sara was the wife of Abraham and also his step-sister (Genesis 12:15; 20:12). We do not find any other account of her parentage. When Abraham goes down to Egypt because of the famine, he induces Sara, who though sixty-five years of age is very beautiful, to say that she is his sister; whereupon she is taken to wife by the King of Egypt, who, however, restores her after a Divine admonition (Genesis 12). In a variant account (Genesis 20), she is represented as being taken in similar circumstances by Abimelech, King of Gerara, and restored likewise to Abraham through a Divine intervention. After having been barren till the age of ninety, Sara, in fulfilment of a Divine promise, gives birth to Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7). Later we find her through jealousy ill-treating her handmaiden Agar the Egyptian, who had borne a child to Abraham, and finally she forces that latter to drive away the bond-woman and her son Ishmael (Genesis 21). Sara lived to the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years, and at her death was buried in the cave of Macphelah in Hebron (Genesis 23). Isaiah 51:2 alludes to Sara as the mother of the chosen people; Saint Peter praises her submission to her husband (1 Peter 3:6). Other New Testament references to Sara are in Romans 4:19; 9:9; Galatians 4:22-23; Hebrews 11:11.

MLA Citation

  • James F Driscoll. “Sara”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 December 2018. Web. 16 May 2021. <>