Mar Saba

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Mar Saba (historical photograph, around 1910)

Mar Saba , the Sabas monastery , Saint Laura of Saint Sabbas ( Greek Ἱερὰ Λαύρα τοῦ Ὁσίου Σάββα τοῦ Ἡγιασμένου , Syriac ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܣܒܐ, Arabic دير مار سابا, Hebrew מנזר מר סבא) is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Kidron Valley in the Judah desert , 12 km east of Bethlehem . It is named after its founder, St. Named Sabas .

Mar Saba is one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world. Ten monks currently live there.


The Sabas Monastery was founded in 483. In the 8th century, the church father John of Damascus spent his last years there. It remained active as a Greek monastery even at the time of the Crusader rule (1099–1187).

The monastery maintained a kind of Old Jerusalem liturgy adapted to its needs until it took over the Byzantine rite at the beginning of the 2nd millennium . The late antique tropologion (hymn book) used in Mar Saba has been preserved in Georgian translation .

The Byzantine liturgical typicon of the monastery was widespread and, in Constantinople's form, revised several times, became the constant guideline of the churches of Byzantine tradition.

Sabas Monastery was an important center of Georgian learning and literature in the Middle Ages. In 864 the monk Makari Leteteli , who was trained in the Georgian monastery of Chandsta (in the northeast of today's Turkey) in Mar Saba, had the Mravaltavi ( homiliar ) Cod. Sinait through the calligrapher Ammonas . iber. 32 + 57 + 33 + 89 / N, which he later donated to the Sinai monastery .

In 1958 , Morton Smith found a fragmentary copy of a letter attributed to Clement of Alexandria in the monastery . This contained quotations from what is now called the Secret Gospel of Mark .


  • Albert Ehrhard : The Greek monastery Mâr-Saba in Palestine: its history and its literary monuments. In: Römische Viertelschrift , Vol. 7 (1893), pp. 32–79, ibid. Pp. 63–65: List of 21 Greek manuscripts from Mar Saba.
  • Diego R. Fittipaldi: The Typikon of Mâr Saba in the XIII Century or what and when to read in the Monastic Byzantine Liturgy. In: Temas Medievales, Volume 23, 2015, pp. 89–113
  • Joseph Patrich (ed.): The Sabaite Heritage in the Orthodox Church from the Fifth Century to the Present (= Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 98). Peeters, Leuven 2001, ISBN 978-90-429-0976-2 .
  • Martin Lüstraeten: The handwritten Arabic translations of the Byzantine typicon. Witnesses of the Arabization and Byzantization of the Melkite liturgy (= Jerusalem Theological Forum , vol. 31). Aschendorff, Münster 2017, ISBN 978-3-402-11039-3 .

Web links

Commons : Mar Saba  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Charles Renoux: Hymnography géorgienne ancienne et hymnaire de Saint-Sabas (Ve – VIIIe siècle). In: Irénikon , ISSN  0021-0978 , vol. 80 (2007), pp. 36-69; ders .: L'Hymnaire de Saint-Sabas (Ve –VIIIe siècles). Le manuscrit géorgien H 2123 , vol. 1: Du Samedi de Lazare à la Pentecôte (= Patrologia Orientalis , vol. 50, fascicle 3). Brepols, Turnhout 2008 and vol. 2: De la nativité de Jean-Baptiste à la liturgie des défunts (= Patrologia Orientalis , vol. 53, fascicle 1). Brepols, Turnhout 2015, ISBN 978-2-503-57538-4 .
  2. ^ Nikolaus Egender : La formation et l'influence du Typikon liturgique de Saint-Sabas. In: Joseph Patrich (Ed.): The Sabaite Heritage in the Orthodox Church from the Fifth Century to the Present . Peeters, Leuven 2001, pp. 209-217.
  3. Vakhtang Djobadze: Early Medieval Georgian Monasteries in Historic Tao, Klardjet'i and Šavšet'i (= research on art history and Christian archeology , Vol. 17). Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 1992, p. 36; for translations from Arabic into Georgian cf. Tamar Pataridze: Christian Literature translated from Arabic into Georgian: A review . In: Annual of Medieval Studies at CEU , Jg. 19 (2013), pp. 47-65.
  4. Michel van Esbroeck: Les plus anciens homéliaires Georgia. Étude descriptive et historique . Université Catholique de Louvain, Institut Orientaliste, Louvain-la-Neuve 1975, ISBN 2-8017-007-X , pp. 28f .; Akaki Sanije (ed.): Sinuri mravalt'avi 864 clisa / Sinajskij mnogoglav 864-go goda (= Jveli k'art'uli enis kat'edris sromebi , vol. 5). Tbilisis Stalinis Saxelobis Saxelmcip'o Univ. Gamomc'emloba, Tbilisi 1959.

Coordinates: 31 ° 42 ′ 18 ″  N , 35 ° 19 ′ 51.6 ″  E