Due to the irregularities caused by the raids of the Arabs in the Holy Land, and health reasons, Sava was forced to leave. He returned to Greece where he searched for a quiet place to continue his monastic life. He was attracted to the island of [[Patmos]], where he lived for a while in the hermitage of Grava and later at the [[Monastery of St. John the Theologian (Patmos, Greece)|Monastery of St. John]]. <ref> This is verified by an inscription on an icon painted by St. Sava at the monastery "In the month of December in 1914 this icon was painted by the hand of the iconographer, holy monk Savvas the Hosevite." </ref>
He later traveled for three years, throughout Greece, looking for a suitable place to stay. He visited [[Mount Athos]], then the Monastery of Phaneromenis, then Salamina and finaly the island of Hydra but in 1919, he was invited to stay at the Greek island of Aegina, by St. [[Nektarios of Aegina|Nektarios]], to serve as a priest at the Convent of the Holy Trinity, and stayed for six years at this convent (from 1919 until 1925). There he taught the nuns the sacred art of iconography and Byzantine music.
This period was one of the most significant events in his biography due to his friendship with St. Nektarios; who was at the height of his spiritual development at this time. Sava had the opportunity to confess and receive counsel from the saint and the two held each other in high esteem and considered each a saint. Savas also conducted Saint Nektarios' funeral service.
St. Sava is also renowed for painting the first [[icon]] of St. Nektarios : ''One day St. Sava asked the [[abbess]] not to let anyone disturb him for forty days, during which he remained confined to his cell in which the nuns could hear constant conversation between the living Saint and the reposed Saint. After 40 days, he came out of his cell holding an icon of St. Nektarios. He handed it to the abbess and asked her to place it in the church for veneration. The abbess was surprised since St. Nektarios had not been [[glorification|glorified]] ("canonized") as a saint yet, and she was afraid that the convent would get into trouble. Although the saint was always meek and humble, he insisted, and told her in a commanding manner: "You must show obedience. Take the icon and place it on the [[iconostasis|icon stand]], and do not scrutinize the will of God. " He knew the holiness and purity of St. Nektarios. ''
After St. Nektarios reposed, more and more pilgrims would come to the convent due to the growing reputation of St. Nektarios as a miracle-worker. This disrupted the quiet life that St. Sava loved, and so he departed the convent in 1925, again for a quieter life. St. Sava spent the last years of his life as the priest and spiritual father at the Convent of All Saints on the island of Kalymnos. As a [[confessor]], he combined leniency with severity. He was lenient on certain sins and severe to others. He remained an ardent spiritual striver until the end of life and practiced extreme forms of self-restraint with regard to food, drink, and sleep. St. Sava became a shining example of virtue to all who came into contact with him. Many smelled a heavenly fragrance in his presence and some even saw him rising above the ground as he stood at prayer.
Towards the end of his life, St. Sava was in a state of intense prayer and holy contrition. For three days he did not receive anyone and he gave his last counsels: requested love and obedience in Christ. When he was on the point of death taking his last breath, suddenly he received strength, brought his blessed small hands together, and clapped them repeatedly saying his last holy words: "The Lord! The Lord! The Lord!" He went to the Lord in 1948 on the eve of the [[feast]] of the [[Annunciation]]. One nun saw the soul of the saint ascending in a golden cloud towards heaven. After about 10 years when the saint's grave was opened in accordance to the Greek Orthodox custom, a heavenly fragrance emanated from the grave which covered the whole island of Kalymnos, this phenomenon was witnessed by many, including the local [[bishop]]. This was a testament to the sanctity of the saint. Numerous [[miracle]]s and healings have since been attributed to St. Sava the New of Kalymnos.