When he was eighteen, Sabas went to Jerusalem. He wanted to learn to live alone with God. He was advised to live in another monastery there for a while because he was still young. He obeyed and joyfully did all the hard work. He chopped wood for the fires and carried the heavy jugs of water. One day, St. Sabas was sent to Alexandria, Egypt, as the traveling companion of another monk. There he saw his father and mother! They tried their best to make him come with them. They wanted him to enjoy the same honours his father had won. Not Sabas! He would not even take the money they tried to give him. Finally he accepted three gold pieces. Then when he got back to the monastery, he gave them to the abbot.
At last, he was able to spend four years completely alone, as he desired. But after that, he had to start a new monastery. Many disciples came to him to learn how to be monks. Before long, he was put in charge of all the monks in Palestine. Sometimes Sabas was sent to the emperor on important Church affairs. Even then, he wore his poor cloth habit and kept to his hours of prayer.