St. Nicholas, the great wonder-worker is famous throughout the world. He is the patron of travelers, sailors, students, and even pawnbrokers. He lived during the last great persecution of Christians by the Roman Emperors, and took part in the First Ecumenical Council against the Arian Heresy in a.d. 325. He was a great defender of Orthodoxy. As the Bishop of Myra in Lycia in Asia Minor, he touched his people with love, generosity, defense of the innocent, and pastoral mercy. He died at age 73 in a.d. 343.
St. Sabbas the Sanctified (a.d. 439-532) was born near Caesarea of Cappadocia in Asia Minor and went to a monastery when he was just eight years old. He flourished there and at 17 received the monastic tonsure. Traveling to Jerusalem years later, St. Sabbas saw the clairvoyant St. Euthymios, who directed him to live with St. Theoctistus, where he was trained in deep spiritual life. After his elder died he became more hermitic, and finally withdrew in a.d. 484 to establish the famous Monastery of Mar Saba in the Kedron Valley near Jerusalem. He strictly opposed the Originest and Monophysite Heresies, and wrote the monastic church typicon.