Saints of the Day – Julian Sabas the Elder, Hermit


Died 377; celebrated today and on January 24 among the Greeks. Saint Julian was a hermit in Mesopotamia, who received the name “sabas,” meaning “the old man” in Syriac, because of his wisdom. At first he lived in a damp cave by the Euphrates near Edessa. Later he moved to Mount Sinai. As with most of the holy hermits of the desert, Julian spent his days in penance, prayer, and manual labor, but he is also known for his encouragement of the Christians during the persecution of Julian the Apostate. Perhaps it was his premonition of the death of the cruel emperor that provided Julian with the fortitude he needed to bring comfort to others. Julian continued to affirm the Catholics in their faith during conflict with the Arians under Valens. He left his solitude to loudly denounce the heresy at Antioch, where his effective preachings was confirmed by miracles. Saint John Chrysostom, who calls him a wonderful man, and Theodoret in the History of Religion (chapter 2) have left accounts of his life (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 September 2021. Web. 29 November 2021. <>