The Mar Saba Monastery... - Secret World


Fabiana Speer


The Mar Saba Monastery is a Christian monastery located in the remote Kidron Valley between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.It was founded in the year 483 A.D., and is considered one of the oldest active monasteries in the world.The monks of Mar Saba and those of subsidiary houses are known as Sabaites. The monastery is important in the historical development of the liturgy of the Orthodox Church in that the monastic Typicon (manner of celebrating worship services) of Saint Sabbas became the standard throughout the Eastern Orthodox Church and those "Uniate" or Eastern Catholic Churches under the Roman pope which follow the Byzantine Rite. The Typicon took the standard form of services which were celebrated in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and added some specifically monastic usages which were local traditions at Saint Sabbas. From there it spread to Constantinople, and thence throughout the Byzantine world. Although this Typicon has undergone further evolution, particularly at the Monastery of the Stoudion in Constantinople, it is still referred to as the Typicon of Saint Sabas. A tradition states that this monastery will host the last Divine Liturgy on earth before the parousia of Jesus Christ, therefore the last pillar of true Christianity. Mar Saba is where Morton Smith purportedly found a copy of a letter ascribed to Clement of Alexandria containing excerpts of a so-called Secret Gospel of Mark,and was for several centuries home to the Archimedes Palimpsest.