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S. Stephen the Sabaite

A.D. 725—A.D. 794.

S. Stephen, called the Sabaïte, from the monastery of S. Sabas, was the nephew of S. John Damascene, who placed him in that house. He was then ten years of age: he passed fifty-nine years in that retreat; and was the earliest of the hymnographers who lived to see the final restoration of Icons. He has left but few poetical compositions. The two best are those on the Martyrs of the monastery of S. Sabas—(March 20th)—on which a monk of that house would be likely to write con amore; and on the Circumcision. His style seems formed on that of 241 S. Cosmas, rather than on that of his own uncle. He is not deficient in elegance and richness of typology, but exhibits something of sameness, and is occasionally guilty of very hard metaphors, as when he speaks of “the circumcision of the tempest of our souls.” He is commemorated on the 13th of July.

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