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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/95

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When he died, he left the orphan and the widow to mourn the loss of a friend.[1]

St. Saba, who was one of the acquaintances of Euthymius' latter days,[2] is celebrated amongst the Syrian Christians as the "Star of Palestine," and is eulogized as the colonizer of the desert, by turning its barren sands into flourishing towns.[3] From his solitary cell near the Jordan, his name was known far around as the friend of the unfortu-

    nobis nocuit, &c. Id. p. 347. Sudden and miraculous punishments were often, according to the legends, the consequence of injuring the faithful believers. The following is an instance: "Gerontius, abbot of the monastery of our holy father Euthymius, related to me, saying: "We were three, seeking provisions beyond the Dead Sea, near Besimus. And as we were ascending a mountain, another was walking below us on the shore of the sea, and it happened that the Saracens, who were wandering about those parts, met with him. After therefore they had passed him, one of the Saracens returned, and cut off the head of the anchorite, whilst we were looking at them, for we were on the mountain. And as we were weeping for the anchorite, behold on a sudden a large bird made a stoop at the Saracen, carried him up into the air, and then let him fall to the ground, where he was dashed to pieces." Mosci Pratus Spiritualis, in Cotelier, tom. i. p. 346. A miracle of the same kind is related in the life of S. Saba (p. 237), more wonderful, and consequently still less credible.

  1. Acta S. Simeon, p. 385.
  2. Cyril. Scythopolit. Vita S. Sabæ, in Cotelier. Saba was by birth a Cappadocian. Id. p. 222.
  3. Saba eximius ille qui desertum nostrum inurbes convertit, ipsumque habitari fecit, qui est Palestinæ Stella. Eutychius, ed. Seld. p. 137.