"There are no miracles. There are only men."
- —Saint Sabbat
The Saint of the Imperial Cult known as Saint Sabbat is described as a small but beautiful green-eyed girl with short black hair. She was born Sabbat Beati around the year 500.M35 on the pastoral world of Hagia, in the sector of the Segmentum Pacificus that afterwards became known as the Sabbat Worlds, to a simple shepherd. At this time, while humans loyal to the Imperium had established footholds in the region of the Sabbat Worlds, much of it was incredibly wild, ruled by the hand of Chaos-worshipping barbarians as well as hostile xenos. Even those planets that were ostensibly loyal to the Emperor were well outside the bounds of the Imperium of Man.
Little is known in detail of Saint Sabbat's history but what is known is that in her early life she was inspired by a vision of the Emperor to rally humanity and liberate the entire region in a great Crusade against the Ruinous Powers. Her achievements overshadow those of many a Lord General Militant of the Imperial Guard, while her teachings lead all Imperial citizens to a simplicity and wisdom that belie her humble origins.
At the height of her power, she counted at her side many of that era's most brilliant military strategists, including Lord Kiodrus, the great Imperial field commander who one day was himself beatified by the Imperial Cult, as well as the strategist Faltornus, and many other notables. Her host included warriors of the Adeptus Astartes including the Brazen Skulls and the White Scars Chapters, as well as the command of one of the precursor Sisters Militant orders that would later become the Adepta Sororitas Orders Militant (the Sisters of Battle), colonial planetary defense and Imperial Guard regiments, and pilgrim retinues of the Ecclesiarchy.
Some Imperial historians theorise a connection between the saint and the precursor to the Adeptus Sororitas' Order of Our Martyred Lady, but this is doubtful and is most likely simply legend. The Ayatani priests of her private order trace out those parts of her Crusade that are still accessible to this day, from the worlds of Hagia to Harkalon and back.
The saint's Crusade endured for 105 Terran years, until her martyrdom on the world of Harkalon, where she suffered the Nine Holy Wounds. Her body was retrieved by the Astartes of the White Scars and interred in a great tomb on Hagia known as the Shrinehold. The sector that would go on to bear her name as the Sabbat Worlds was already considered fully functioning Imperial territory at the time of her death.
During the Imperial Crusade to liberate the Sabbat Worlds from the Forces of Chaos in the 41st Millennium the saint was said to have been reincarnated as an Esholi girl from the world of Hagia who then led Imperial forces on the planet of Herodor and joined the Crusade's Warmaster at the front lines to inspire the Imperial forces.
- The Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book) by Dan Abnett
- Honour Guard (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Sabbat Martyr (Novel) by Dan Abnett