Richard Nowitz

The monastery of Mar Saba. Still inhabited by monks after 1,500 years, this complex, built into the cliffs above the Kidron valley in the desolate Judean wilderness, was named in honor of St. Sabas (439–532).

By the fifth century, many Christians chose to live in remote desert refuges in the Holy Land and many more made the long pilgrimage from their homes to visit sites central to their faith. In the accompanying article, Robert L. Wilken traces the growing importance of the Holy Land in early Christianity.