The lead seal, which dates to some 800 years ago, bears the likeness of St. Sabas, one of the most important people active in Jerusalem during the Byzantine period, some 1,500 years ago . . .
St. Sabas was one of the most influential leaders of the Christian monastic movement that developed in the Judean Desert during the Byzantine period. He established several monasteries, but his crowning achievement was the construction of the Monastery of St. Sabas, referred to as the “Great Laura” in the Byzantine period.
Situated on a cliff overlooking the Kidron Valley outside the Old City of Jerusalem, it is the only monastery in the Judean Desert continuously inhabited since its foundation. At the time the seal was in use, the monastery had hundreds of monks. Today, about 10 Greek monks are in residence.
Saint John of Damascus:
Born and raised in Damascus, he died at his monastery, Mar Saba, near Jerusalem . . .
The Catholic Church regards him as a Doctor of the Church, often referred to as the Doctor of the Assumption due to his writings on the Assumption of Mary.
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