Saint Of The Day For February 9: San Sabino Di Canosa

There are several of San Sabino and all dating back to early Christianity: true models of holiness. The story of the Saint of Canosa

Quite fragmentary details on the hagiography of early Christianity and this does not depend only on the strong distance in time.

In fact, the approach with which the deeds and actions of a saint are highlighted, i.e. the purpose, changes: today it is important to go into detail about the virtues; yesterday, also through the comments of the Fathers of the Church, some characteristic traits were sketched out for a valid model of holiness to follow.

So what do we know about San Sabino di Canosa, also disputed in Bari, following the union of the two bishoprics?

A few glimpses of a life consecrated to the good of the people and to the Christian mission. Let’s see them together.

San Sabino: figure of dialogue and great diplomat

This saint is remembered among the bishops of Canosa in an era of delicate adversity, above all because of the defense of the Christian faith itself.

Indeed, the king seemed to tolerate the Arians a little too much and so San Sabino launched into a strenuous peaceful defense of traditionally Christian values.

Enormous was the concern for the safeguarding of truth, justice and righteousness.

He distinguished himself to such an extent that Pope Sant’Agapito sent him as ambassador to Constantinople and thus this figure finds historical confirmation in the main councils of the time (from 526 to 535 AD).

San Sabino was taken up by Gregory the Great in his writings as a personality of great zeal

Gregory the Great, in particular, with generosity of detail, dwells on the friendly relationship between San Sabino and San Benedetto, to the point that in some classic icons the two saints are depicted.

What was the reason for their frequent meetings?

It seems that among the most popular arguments there is precisely that of the worrying expansionist aim of the barbarian peoples.

In short, the geo-political problems of the time, the news of the occasion.

The fact remains that San Sabino, from what is said, increased the price of San Benedetto as it was not necessary to give so much importance to what was happening in terms of petty everyday life.

Sooner or later, in fact, ingratitude to God always collides with equally fatal consequences.

In short: if Rome had not been ravaged by the barbarian invasions, it would have equally and by itself fallen into disrepair due to climatic perturbations, earthquakes, landslides, floods.

What a beautiful ironic and cynical temperament emerges from this anecdote reported by Gregory the Great about the life of San Sabino!

In Canosa everything is Sabinian: the influence of San Sabino

This movement of San Sabino with great ease for his preparation, for his relational and diplomatic skills towards Constantinople certainly had his influence on Canosa.

There was, in fact, what we now call “twinning” and in many customs the oriental aesthetic was imposed in the liturgy.

Just enter the current Museum of the Bishops of Canosa and you will find some remnants of this historical-social context including the liturgical fan, still used in the Orthodox liturgy, traditionally oriental which gives so much importance to the symbolic aspect.

In the Canosian church, of oriental influence, the sacred texts could not even be touched.

And San Sabino busied himself in erecting, building the churches that still make their history and tradition impressive today.

Someone calls him, precisely, the entrepreneur bishop.

Puglia: the gateway to the east. The territories that compete for San Sabino

Canosa was then a city that gave birth to many bishops and boasts a great centuries-old tradition often competing with the passing surroundings.

Just think of the dispute between San Sabino and Bari where the remains of the saint were transferred.

In the end, however, Bari has San Nicola as its first patron, but it almost came close to choosing San Sabino, a popular pronouncement that even required municipal votes.

San Sabino, then, with a very uncertain date (it is still being studied if we are talking about the same saint), is also venerated in Avellino.

However, the chronology associated with San Sabino di Spoleto and San Sabino di Lesina is different.

It must, then, have been a name widely used among the first Christians.

We conclude with the wise words of Don Giacinto Bianchi, founder of the Missionary Daughters of Mary to reflect on these few fragmentary details that we have put together about the life of the Saint.

They are enough to underline with him that: “Holiness depends more on the way things are done than on the things themselves”.

Happy journey of holiness taking example from the stories of the saints!

Sister Ines Carlone Missionary Daughters of Mary

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Comune di Canosa

Cattedrale di San Sabino

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