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TRANSLATIONS OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE
GENERAL EDITORS : W. J. SPARROW-SIMPSON, D.D.,
W. K. LOWTHER CLARKE, B.D.
LIVES OF THE
Lives oj the Serbian Saints
LIVES OF THE
\AlBy VOYESLAV YANICH DD.
*\and C PATRICK HANKEY MA.
SOCIETY FOR. PROMOTING
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. London
The Macmillan Companu.]^evv\Drk
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INTRODUCTION ...... vH
A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY . . . . xii
SAINT JOHN VLADIMIR, SERBIAN PRINCE . . I
SAINT SIMEON, GIVER OF THE OIL ... 6
SAINT SAVA (1169-1236). .... 12
OUR HOLY FATHER ARSENI, SERBIAN ARCHBISHOP 31
SAINT SIMON PRVOVENCHANI, SON OF STEPHEN
NEMAN YA . . . . . -37
THEOPHOROS STEPHEN MILUTIN, KING OF ALL
SERBIA AND THE COASTLANDS . . .46
THE SAINT AND GREAT MARTYR, STEPHEN DE-
CHANSKI. ...... 56
THE HOLY AND BLESSED MARTYR, TSAR UROSH . 65
THE SAINT AND MOST BLESSED MARTYR, TSAR
LAZAR, RULER OF THE SERBIAN LAND (1372
THE HOLY FATHER EPHREM, PATRIARCH OF THE
SERBIANS . . . . .- .76
THE SAINTLY AND JUST STEPHEN, SERBIAN DESPOT 79
SAINT JOANNICIUS OF DEVITCH ... 85
THE HOLY FATHER MAXIM, ARCHBISHOP AND
SERBIAN DESPOT ..... 87
OUR MOTHER, SAINT ANGELINA, DESPOTITZA OF
THE SERBIANS. . . . . 9 1
SAINT JOHN, DESPOT ..... 94
THE HOLY AND JUST STEPHEN SHILANOVITCH . 96
SAINT BASIL ....... IO2
GLOSSARY . . . . . .106
INDEX . . 107
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
SAINT SAVA . . . . . . Frontispiece
THE MONASTERY OF PECH . . Facing p. 32
SAINT MILUTIN .' . . . ,,46
SAINT LAZAR . ... . 70
THIS collection of lives is taken from what we should
call the martyrology of the Church in Serbia. There
were, at one time, a number of these martyrologies in
use in Europe containing different lists of saints, together
with their lives. In the West these tended to give place
to a calendar and lives of a more or less official character ;
but in the East the monasteries in particular seem to
have kept their own calendars and their own special
traditions about their saints and special offices in their
memory. This was the case in Serbia, where many
monasteries preserved their own separate collection
until the middle of the last century. In all these old
office books certain great national saints would be sure
of a place. No Serbian martyrology would be complete
without a life of St. Sava, for instance. But the stories
of their lives, affected by local tradition or by some
contact of the saints with the monastery in his lifetime,
would often show considerable variety. Other saints
would be included only in the commemoration of
churches of a particular district because their fame
had never sufficiently penetrated beyond it. Two
classes of difference thus arose in these various col-
lections. There was the variety in the list of saints
included ; and there was sometimes considerable variety
in the stories of their lives.
In the middle of the last century, however, there
was issued one martyrology for the use of the Church
throughout Serbia. A certain list of national saints
thus obtained recognition, and the stories of their lives
received a fixed form. It is a translation of the lives
included in this book which is here presented.
The result of this treatment of the old office books
may be compared with the outcome of the work of the
various writers who edited the original documents of the
Hexateuch. Sometimes a selection has been made from
a choice of stories. Sometimes one detects that the
paste and scissors have been at work. Sometimes part
of a story seems to have been rewritten because edifi-
cation is more important than a close adherence to
tradition. And just as the student of the Hexateuch
would like to be able to see the original documents,
untouched by the hand of the redactor, so it is prob-
able that the reader of these lives will wish at times
that he could compare them with an earlier version, or
could read the other stories from which this particular
one was selected. The work of harmonizing the differ-
ent accounts has not been perfectly done in every case,
and it is possible to observe in the narratives the remains
of a double tradition. In the case of several of the
lives, those of the less national saints, it is probable
that not more than one history of them has survived
and that this has been incorporated almost, if not
wholly, as it stood.
Such is, in outline, the history of this collection.
What is its importance? Any list of national saints,
with some account of their lives, however jejune, has
importance for the historian. If we know the sort of
men and women whom a nation delights to honour, in
this way, we know something of that people. And
that particular " something" is very difficult to discover
in any other way. At first glance, a nation's saints will
often appear to have been selected in a haphazard way.
The list will be found to contain names which we feel
have no place in such exalted company. There is a
bewildering variety of type. Yet these men and women
have shown themselves possessed of spiritual qualities
to which their countrymen have specially aspired. To
people of another century and another civilization the
general impression created by the life of some national
saint may be fantastic or crude, or commonplace or even
immoral. The nation itself, however, has seen in him
only those qualities which it most urgently desires for
itself. And to know a nation's ideals is to know some-
thing of the roots of its vitality. It is not easy to
discover the ideals of one's own day with precision ;
the task of the historian is far more difficult. Will he
not be wise to pay more attention than he has done
in the past to what is rather contemptuously known as
In the collection before us we find a large
proportion of kings and great churchmen. They are
the men who made of the Serbians an independent
people and built up the short-lived Serbian 'Empire.
Of some of them that is about all that can be said.
But to the Serbian whose freedom was his life whose
liberty was threatened from the north or the south for
decade after decade that was enough. And later
generations, living under the Turk, looked with love
and reverence on the men who had once made their
people free ; and when he could, he saw to it that their
relics lay in a country which was at least free from the
infidel. This type is represented in almost all national
calendars. Our Edward the Confessor has much in
common with these church-building kings of the early
Serbian state. St. Dunstan and St. Thomas of Canter-
bury played parts in our history which have parallels in
that of Serbia.
A second type is less fully represented. But the re-
cluse, the follower of the "angel way of life," has also
his place in his countrymen's affection. For, however
" national " his conception of religion was and is, the
Serbian could recognize that "something better" and
reverence the austerity and detachment by which alone
it could be attained. This, again, is not peculiar to the
But there is a third type which is by far the most
characteristic. There are lives of men and women in
this book which contain no deed of heroism or voluntary
denial. Their stories are not of a struggle against
external forces or the enemy within them. The only
sense in which their lives may be said to be a struggle is
in that sense in which the word is used of the outcast
and poor, the broken man and the beaten woman. Their
nobility has only one chance of showing itself, and that
is in the patient endurance of unmerited and unavoid-
able suffering. Such saints as Stephen and his wife
Angelina, and the later members of the Nemanya
dynasty, received no hero-worship. They were always
failures conscious and hopeless failures failures who
made no heroic effort to change their lot. Yet it is
these lives which are written with the most touching
affection and understanding. We may account for this
in part by the singular tenderness which the Slav is so
quick to feel not merely for the unfortunate, but for the
material or moral failure. But it is probable that its'
significance lies far more in the circumstances of the
lives of Serbians when they lived unfree under the
Turks. It has, in fact, somewhat the same meaning
as the observance of the anniversary of their great
national disaster, Kossovo, as the national day of honour.
In those miserable years the patience of a blind prince,
the faithfulness of a widowed queen, the misfortunes of
rulers with no one to rule, made a special appeal and
had a special lesson. That patient faithfulness among
indignities and sufferings which has been such a marked
characteristic of this people up to our own times is here
described increasing in those who were first called upon
to exhibit it. No western people could treat so tenderly
of those who were so conspicuously unsuccessful. No
western historian will understand this people unless he
remembers that the luckless King Stephen is numbered
among its saints.
A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY
THE Serbian Saints have been for the most part the
national heroes and their lives are the history of Serbia
for the period during which they flourished the period,
that is, during the Middle Ages when Serbia became a
free nation and for a time an empire. Any attempt,
therefore, to give in this place a complete historical
survey would merely result in repetition of much that
follows in the lives themselves. The purpose of this note
is rather to provide a setting into which the biographies
may be fitted, and to fill up some of the gaps caused by
the fact that some of Serbia's greatest heroes could not
well find a place in the list of her saints owing to certain
unfortunate incidents in their early lives.
We may begin, then, with the point in history when the
Serbians became the northern neighbours of the Greek
Empire somewhere in the seventh century, and had
accepted, nominally at least, the Christian religion. In
reality they seem to have clung closely to their old pagan
nature worship and the new religion took little hold upon
them until the ninth century, when Cyril and Methodius
came among them as missionaries and gave them a
Liturgy in their own tongue. By the tenth century we
find the country divided up among a number of small
princes, who in turn subdivided their territory among
their zhupanes, or petty chiefs. Their principal enemies
were their powerful neighbours, the Bulgarians, who
frequently invaded the land and sometimes occupied
large parts of it. To this period belongs the story of St.
A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY xiii
Vladimir and his martyrdom at the hands of the Bulgarian
king, Vladislav. During the following century the Bul-
garian power rapidly declined, however, and the Greek
Emperor found himself in a position to extend his
authority northward, so that by the middle of the twelfth
century most of the Serbian provinces recognized him as
THE NEMANYA DYNASTY
It is from this time that the authentic history contained
in these lives of the saints begins, for in 1169 Stephen,
afterwards known as the monk St. Simeon, founded the
Nemanya dynasty and the Christian state began to be
established. The story of his early struggles in the
province of Rascia against his brothers, and his victories
over them and his suzerain the Greek Emperor, is told
in his life. He succeeded in forming an independent
kingdom for himself in Rascia and along the coast of the
Adriatic, but when he pressed southward in league with
the Bulgarians, and occupied the land round Uskub and
Prizren, he met with reverses and finally abdicated in
favour of his second son, and became a monk.
Of his three sons, the second, Stephen (St. Simon]
succeeded his father as Grand Zhupan, the eldest, Vukan,
being given only the title of king and the lands along the
Adriatic ; while the third, Rastko, had already become the
monk Sava. The position of Stephen was far from being
secure. Vukan, disappointed in his hope of succeeding
his father, was prepared to serve the interests of the Hun-
garian king, who was being encouraged by the Pope to
take forcible possession of these Orthodox lands. It was
at this juncture that St. Sava, the youngest brother,
returned from his monastery in Mt. Athos to support
Stephen, and Vukan contented himself with holding
xiv A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY
Rascia as the vassal of Hungary. Vukan died in 1204,
and the troubles which occurred in Hungary about this
time freed Stephen from the northern peril. Meanwhile,
in the south the fourth Crusade had captured Constanti-
nople, and the Latin state which it established began to
menace the small Balkan nations. St. Sava now showed
the qualities of a statesman by turning the collapse of
the Greek Empire to good account. He approached
the Emperor and the Patriarch of Nicaea, and in 1219
obtained from them ecclesiastical autonomy for Serbia
and the archbishopric for himself they were in no
position to refuse him these important and far-reaching
privileges. Not content with this, he proceeded in the
following year to get the imperial sanction for the
coronation of his brother as King of Serbia, and himself
placed the crown on his head. The remainder of his
active years he devoted to establishing order in the
independent kingdom, travelling through the country on
foot, teaching the people and organizing the spiritual and
temporal government of the land.
The result of his labours is to be seen in the years
that followed. Not one of the next four rulers died in
possession of the throne, each of them being driven out
owing to rebellions led by their brothers or sons ; yet in
spite of these divisions, the state held together owing to
the strong foundations that had been laid by St. Sava.
Rodoslav, Stephen's son, who succeeded him in 1227,
was dethroned by his brother Vladislav in 1233, and
Vladislav by his younger brother Stephen Urosh I in 1 242.
Stephen Urosh I reigned till 1276, and was then defeated
by his son Dragutin on the Plain of Gatsko, while
Dragutin had himself to abdicate in favour of his brother
Urosh II Milntin five years later. With the accession of
Milutin came peace at home and considerable progress.
The wealth of the country increased owing to the commer-
A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY xv
cial relations established with Venice and Ragusa, and this
increased prosperity showed itself in the great number of
churches built at this time. Unlike the church at Studen-
itza, built by the first Stephen, and most of the ecclesiasti-
cal buildings of that day, these churches of Milutin are
purely Byzantine in their architecture, a fact probably
due to the Greek influence at the court through the
marriage of the king with Simonide, the daughter of the
Emperor Andronicus. Milutin was also successful in
withstanding the Tartar invasion, which destroyed Bul-
garia during his reign, and reduced the Tartar prince,
Shishman of Widin, to a position of vassalage.
Stephen Dechanski, his son, who succeeded him in
1321, received his second name from the monastery of
Dechani which he built as a thankoffering for his great
victory over the Bulgarians at Kustendil. He did not
long survive this victory. As happened so frequently at
this period, the fact that he had taken to himself, as
second wife, a Greek princess, Mary, led to his downfall.
For a Greek party was formed at court and an attempt
was made to declare the son of this second marriage
heir to the throne in the place of Dushan, the son of
the first marriage. Dushan and his adherents raised a
rebellion, and the king was captured and strangled
The reign of Stephen Dushan (1331-55) marks the
summit of Serbian power and glory. Dushan, who does ^
not appear among his country's saints owing to the death
of his father, was a military genius. It was his ambition
to found an empire which should include the Serbians,
Greeks and Bulgarians, and to rule all these lands as
Tzar. We cannot follow him through the series of
brilliant campaigns by which he overran, and added to
his dominions, Macedonia, Albania and Epirus. In
1345 he proclaimed himself Tzar of the Serbians and
xvi A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY
Greeks, and raised the archbishopric of Pech to the
dignity of a patriarchate, for which latter act the country
was laid under an anathema by the Patriarch of Constan-
tinople and was not freed from it till Tzar Lazar secured
the recognition of the nationa patriarchate thirty years
later. In 1347 Dushan continued his victorious cam-
paigns, and brought Epirus, Etolia, Acornania and
Thessaly within his dominions. During the next few
years his astonishing activities were devoted to the
codification of the laws, customs, and ordinances of his
predecessors and their solemn promulgation as the law of
his empire. But when the complete realization of his
dream seemed practically assured, the storm which had
been threatening the East so long broke out with fury,
and at the very moment when the military genius of
Dushan was most needed by his country and by Europe
to stem the Turkish invasions, he suddenly died
By the untimely death of Dushan, not only was the
empire he had founded doomed to fall to pieces, but the
only hope of his own country's independence disappeared.
The weakness of the Greek Empire, which had given him
his chance, meant that there was one barrier the less
between Serbia and the Turkish invaders. Moreover,
the Hungarians chose this moment of calamity for their
southern neighbours to attack them, and both Bulgaria
and Serbia were overrun and in part annexed, many of
the inhabitants, especially in the former country, being
forcibly made Catholics. The reign of Dushan's son
and successor, St. Urosh (1356-72), a weak man in a
position requiring exceptional strength of character, is
pitiful reading. In such distracting times he ceased to
be noticed, and it is the rebel, Vukashin, who had taken
most of his empire from him, who meets the Turks and
dies in battle against them on the river Maritza in 1371.
A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY xvii
With this defeat all the Serbian provinces in the south
around Uskub were lost. Tzar Urosh himself died
childless and forgotten in the same year, and with him
the great Nemanya dynasty became extinct.
THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE AGAINST THE
Such of the Serbian land as still remained to them was
now divided between two rulers Tvrtko, who governed
in Bosnia, and Lazar Grebelyanovich. These two princes
united their forces and inflicted a defeat on the Turks in
1387, but two years later Sultan Murat returned with a
large army, and on the Plain of Kossovo the Serbian army
of Lazar was defeated and Lazar himself taken prisoner
and beheaded on the i5th of June, 1389. This famous
battle and the causes which led to the defeat is sufficiently
described in the life of St. Lazar, and need not detain us
here. It is characteristic of the Serbian people that they
should regard it as the greatest moment in their history,
for though overcome they fought and fell in defence of
the Cross menaced by the Crescent.
Henceforth their rulers reigned with the title of despot
only as vassals of the Turks, paying them tribute in money
and men, and on these terms Lazar's son, Stephen
Lazarevich, continued to govern the land from 1389 to
1427. At the beginning of the fifteenth century they were
able to improve their lot a little by becoming vassals of
Hungary instead of the Sultan, and received from that
country the province of Machva, with Belgrade, in order
that they might act as a buffer state between their new
suzerains and the Turks. This arrangement continued
through the reigns of George Brankovich (142756)
and his son Lazar. But after the death of the latter in
xviii A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY
1458 the Sultan again invaded the land and converted it
into a Pashalik, so that Serbian despots who owned
anything beside their title ceased to exist. The stories
of the unhappy lot of the despot Stephen, his wife Angelina^
and his two sons, will sufficiently illustrate the misery of
the last days of the Serbian rulers. Their brethren in the
north, amongst whom they sought refuge, the relics of
the kingdom which Tvrtko founded in Bosnia, shared the
same fate a few years later, and Serbian independence
was wholly at an end.
We need not dwell upon the history of the next three
hundred years. Thousands of the people were enslaved
and sold in the markets of the East. Thousands emigrated
to Hungary rather than live under the hated rule of the
Turks. Those who were left did not lightly accept their
fate, many of them forming themselves into bands of
outlaws which spent their time in wreaking vengeance
on the oppressors whenever the chance occurred. The
exploits of these Haiduks, as they were called, are the
favourite subject of the well-known national songs, and
they served to keep alive something of the national spirit
during these terrible centuries. These songs and their
religion were the only means of expression left to the
people, so that it is not surprising to find that the Serbian
Church has the character of a national rather than a
religious institution. But whatever their pains and misery
their watchword continued to be, " Za krst tchasni i
slobodu zlatnu" "For the venerated Cross and for
It was not till the year 1804 that the fight for freedom
could really be renewed. In that year they began their
rebellion under Kara George and met with astonishing
successes. They fought throughout the Napoleonic wars,
Austria and Russia being each of them glad of such
diversions as the Serbian peasants could make in their
A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY xix
neighbourhood. But neither of these Powers was
prepared to stand by her when she ceased to serve their
purpose, and they infamously deserted the gallant -men
who had fought for them at the Treaty of Bucharest in
1812. The work of liberation had almost to be begun
over again when Milosh Obrenovich raised the standard
of revolt three years later. Then began a struggle for
freedom which lasted nearly through a generation.
Unable to drive the Turks from their lands altogether,
they had to content themselves with obtaining their
independence piecemeal, sometimes righting alone, some-
times receiving the somewhat reluctant support of the
diplomats of Russia. In 1830 Milosh Obrenovich was
recognized by the Porte as hereditary Prince, and the
national Church was restored, with its own native priests
and metropolitan, but the fortresses were still held by
the Turks and a tax was still paid to them. Finally,
during the years 1876-8 the Turks were entirely driven
out and, by the Treaty of Berlin in the latter year,
Serbia recovered her complete independence and her
territory was increased. In 1882 Milan Obrenovich was
proclaimed King of Serbia her first king since the fall
of Lazar on the Plain of Kossovo. And the Balkan wars
of 1912 restored to her those lands in the south which
had formed a part of the fatherland of so many of her
So Serbia lived again. That such a return to life
should have been possible after so many years of maimed
existence requires some explanation. There are, no
doubt, more causes than one why the spirit of the nation
was not killed, but there is no doubt as to which was the
principal factor. It was their Church which kept alive
in the heart of this people their love for their home and
their national aspirations more than any other thing. It
was their Church which preserved them from being
xx A NOTE ON SERBIAN HISTORY
wholly merged into the Ottoman Empire. The pages that
follow tell of the birth and early growth of this indomitable
spirit, and reflect that devotion to God and His Church
which was to be the salvation of this people and, please
God, shall be again.
LIVES OF THE
THE LIFE OF SAINT JOHN VLADIMIR,
SERBIAN PRINCE 1
THE holy and glorious prince and martyr John
Vladimir was sprung from a noble family of the town
Alba, which town he ruled together with Illyricum and
Dalmatia. Hvalimir, his grandfather had three sons,
Petrislav, Dragomir and Miroslav. Petrislav ruled over
Zeta, Dragomir over Trebinje and Hlevna, Miroslav
over Podgorye. When Hvalimir was dead, and Miroslav
had died without children, the Serbian state fell to
Petrislav, whose son and successor was the blessed
From his youth this prince was full of the gifts of the
spirit, gentle, quiet, pious and pure in life; hating all
evil pleasures, he kept himself from them and gave
thought rather for his subjects, ruling them wisely.
Wherefore he was beloved of all. And it happened that
the Bulgarian king, Samuil, began to make war with a
great host against the state of this blessed king.
Vladimir, that the blood of his country might not be
shed, went with his army into the mountains, where the
host of Samuil soon encompassed him. Now, they were
1 The exact dates are uncertain, but he lived during the end of
the ninth century and the beginning of the tenth.
a LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
in the place called Kosogor, and the serpents were many
in number and very poisonous, so that no little harm was
done to the soldiers. But the saint prayed unto the
Lord, and straightway the serpents ceased to bite ; and
from that time unto this day they will vex no man.
When Samuil saw that he could not take Vladimir by
force of arms, he determined to do this by guile. And
so he gave fair promises of safety to Vladimir, who came
down then to this breaker of oaths. But the treacher-
ous Samuil sent him to his capital and put him in prison
and pillaged all his country, laying waste with fire
Illyricum, Ragusa, Kotor, Bosnia and Rascia, returning
with his army laden with spoil.
Now Samuil had a daughter, Kossara by name, who
had a great love for the poor and the prisoners, and
went often to visit and comfort them. And when she
saw Vladimir, who was young and wise, straightway she
loved him. But he was always fasting and praying.
One night, however, there appeared to him an angel of
the Lord, who told him that the time of his deliverance
from prison drew near, and that afterwards he would be
martyred. But Kossara was praying her father that he
would give to her this prisoner to be her husband ; and
since he could not refuse this to his daughter, Samuil
brought Vladimir from prison and gave him Kossara his
daughter to be his wife. Moreover, he returned into his
hand all his estates and sent him back with all honour
and many gifts. And when Vladimir came back to his
people bringing his wife with him, he was received with
great gladness. Then did he tell his wife that she. must
keep herself ever virgin, because that life is the life of
the angels : and she was obedient to him, so that they
lived in chastity and every virtue.
And it came to pass at this time that the autocrat, the
Greek Emperor, Basil Porphyrogennatos, came with a
SAINT JOHN VLADIMIR 3
great host against Samuil, the Bulgarian tsar, and,
vanquishing his army, pressed on even to Ochrida.
Samuil died from sorrow of heart, and after him Radomir
his son came to the throne. But after he had reigned
one year he was killed by his brother, the son of his
mother by a former marriage, Vladislav by name,
through the counsel of the Emperor Basil. And so
Basil, having overcome the whole Bulgarian state, came
with his army against the Serbian country. But St.
Vladimir gathered his army and defended himself with
great might, so that the Emperor had to return again
Now it happened that the king, the holy Vladimir,
was in the forest which was nigh unto the town, with
three of his voievodes. And there came an eagle flying
through the forest bearing a shining cross upon its back.
And it let the cross fall to the ground and flew away
leaving it lying upon the earth. They got down from
their horses and bowed themselves before Jesus crucified
upon the cross. Then St. Vladimir gave orders and
built on that place a church. And when at great cost
the church had been built, he kept there the hallowed
cross and went to it by day and by night to pray. Then
he understood that he was come near to the time when
he should receive the crown of the martyr, which he
himself desired with all his heart.
Now the Bulgarian king, Vladislav, doubted in his
heart of the holy Vladimir, and he was counselled by the
Greek Emperor to slay him by craft. Therefore
Vladislav came to the capital of Vladimir and pitched
his tents before the town, and called Vladimir to come
out to him that they might speak together of the needs
of their peoples. But Vladimir did not will to go, and
delayed. Then Vladislav sent unto him two bishops and
made an oath on the Holy Gospels and the venerated
4 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
Cross. And Kossara, because she would not that
her husband should go, went herself to speak with her
brother : and he, like a second Judas, with kisses and
soft words, lied unto her. Kossara then, believing the
word of this murderer, went back again and sent her
husband to him, for she could not see "the sword
dipped in honey." When Vladislav saw Vladimir
coming to him straightway he fell upon him and struck
him with his sword. But he was not harmed, nor did
he fear, but said to him, " It is your will to kill me, my
brother, but you cannot." Then he took his own sword
and gave it to Vladislav, saying unto him, " Take it and
kill me, for I am ready to die, as were Isaac and Abel."
And the murderer, blinded and terrible with fury, took
the sword and cut off his head. Then did St. Vladimir
take his head into his hands and go quickly to that
church where the eagle had come with the cross, and he
sang as he went, " I was glad when they said unto me,
we will go unto the house of the Lord." And when he
came to the church he said, " Into Thy hands, O my
Lord, I commend my spirit." Then the murderer, full
of shame and afraid because of this glorious wonder, fled
away with his men.
And so the blessed Vladimir received the crown of the
martyr and passed from the kingdom of this world to
the Kingdom of Heaven on the twenty-second day
of May in the year 1015. Kossara his wife buried the
body of the holy king in the church with great splen-
dour in the presence of the bishops and all the clergy and
the people : then, for the true love she bore her blessed
husband, she shut herself up in his church and never
_ left it again all the rest of her days, giving herself to
fasting and prayers.
But the murderer Vladislav, while he hoped to keep
his Bulgarian state still in peace, thought to add to it
SAINT JOHN VLADIMIR 5
also the Serbian country. So he came with an army
before Dyrrachium, and in high hope surrounded the
town. But as he sat alone in his tent taking meat,
suddenly, while his thoughts dwelt on other things, he
saw Vladimir seeking to behead him. Being in very
great fear of him, he called upon his guard for help ;
and in their presence an invisible hand slew him, and,
like Herod Agrippa, he gave up his sinful soul in the
year 1017. His army, being afraid because of this
punishment which had fallen upon its leader, fled to
their own country. Thus, he who purposed to rob
another of his home lost his own in this life and that
other which may be ours in the life everlasting.
Holy oil arose from the relics of St. Vladimir, and he
healed divers ills, which indeed he does to this day, and
he tamed not a little the barbarous ferocity of the Turks.
Through his prayers may the All Merciful God look
upon his people, bring their martyrdom to an end, and
save us from the heavy yoke of the cruel Turks, who are
as the wild beasts. To the glory of God in Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one in essence and
unchanging for ever and ever. Amen.
THE LIFE OF SAINT SIMEON,
GIVER OF THE OIL 1
OUR godly father Simeon was the son of a Serbian
prince, Gradina, who ruled in the country of Rascia.
He was born in Diocletia, near to the Adriatic Sea,
baptized in Rascia, which is to-day Novi-Bazar, in the
church of the Princes of the Apostles, St. Peter and St.
Paul, and received the name of Stephen. The sacra-
ment was given to him by Leontius, the bishop of Rascia
in that day. When his youth was passed and he had
come to man's estate, he ruled the country of his father
with wisdom and justice. From the first he showed his
love for the holy Church, and in all he had to do he acted
justly in obedience to the command of the Gospels. In
his desire to show how deep was his affection for the
Church, and most of all for that of his baptism, he built
the church to the honour and glory of the All Holy
Mother of God in the town Toplitsa on the river
Kosanitsa, and another to the honour and memory of
St. Nicholas on the river Banya.
His own brothers had no good-will towards him, for
they envied his good fame. So they took him and put
him in prison. From thence our Lord delivered him,
by the hand of His great martyr St. George, and He
1 Stephen Nemanya, who took the name of Simeon when he
became a monk, was the founder of the Nemanya dynasty, which
ruled Serbia 1 169-1372. He himself was Grand Zhupan 1 169-1 196,
>in which year he abdicated in favour of his second son Stephen.
SAINT SIMEON - 7
gave him victory wholly over his enemies, so that he
drove them from the fatherland. But those exiles did
not forgive him, and raised their hands against their
brother yet again, receiving soldiers from the Greek
Emperor, so that they had many mercenaries. But
again the Lord was against them, and not only were they
crushed and destroyed, but one of the brothers was
drowned in the river Tara near Zvechany, where the
battle was. This victory, given to him by the Lord,
Stephen used very wisely. He increased the borders of
his kingdom and set up the first Serbian state, which
now had only one autocrat and was independent of the
Greek Emperor, nor was it any longer as in the time
before, when every Zhupan ruled his own small country
by himself. Now this was not pleasing to the Emperor
Andronicus, and he came with his armies to destroy the
young Serbian state. Yet was he forced to go back
again, for he was overcome and lost twenty of his for-
tresses. Thereby these provinces came within the
kingdom of Serbia at this time Serbia, Old Serbia,
Sirmie and a part of Slavonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina,
Montenegro, a part of Albania and Macedonia.
Then there was peace in all the countries of Serbia.
And it came into the mind of Stephen Nemanya, first
autocrat of Serbia, to build monuments in his state to the
glory of God, Who is almighty and rules over all things,
and that he might strengthen the Serbian people in the
orthodox faith and provide things useful for the souls of
his subjects. Therefore he built a church in the honour
and memory of the great martyr George, called by the
people George Stubovy, 1 and another he built to the
Holy Archangel Michael in Skoplje, and a third to St.
Pantelemon in Nish, and a fourth to the All Holy
Mother of God, which was called Studenitza.
1 The Pillar.
8 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
This his devotion to the Holy Orthodox Church gave
the saint great zeal to destroy utterly all heresies which
arose among the people through the work of false
teachers. 1 And when he was stricken in years so that
he could no longer bear the weight of rule, and when
he took thought for the salvation of his soul, he decided
in his heart to lay aside this burden and to place it upon
his first-born son Stephen. Which thing he did on a
day set apart before all whom he assembled to him.
Having made an end of this, the son being now king in
the room of his father, straightway, on the next day,
the godly king, with his wife and children, went to
Studenitza, where he became the monk Simeon. 2 In
that monastery he remained fasting and following the
rules of prayer. After the space of two years he went
and gave rich gifts to his son Sava on the Sveta Gora
(Holy Mountain Athos), giving praise to the Lord
because he saw the youngest of the sons of his heart.
First he stayed in the monastery Vatoped, to which he
gave of the gifts he had brought, and after that he
visited other churches and gave them costly presents.
Then did he make request to those who had the power
to grant it, and he was allowed to build again the
monastery Khilindar. And then he built the beautiful
church in memory of the Coming of the All Holy
Mother of God to the Temple and gave this holy house
to the children of his fatherland, so that all who came
thence might find a refuge there. When he had made
1 Specially the heretics Bogumile. As they were like the
Quakers and followers of Tolstoi in their attitude towards war,
they were very dangerous to the state in those days. When the
Turks took Bosnia in 1463 they became Musulmans.
8 In the Orthodox Church there is only one order of monks,
those who follow the rule laid down by St. Basil the Great of
Cappadocia. There are, in this rule, two degrees : the lesser vow and
the great vow. The latter is very severe, and is called the "angel
way of life. " They hardly ever speak.
SAINT SIMEON 9
an end of the foundation of the church, he began to
build the walls and the cells and a refectory also. And
all things being done, he sent a letter to his son, the
autocrat Stephen, telling him, among other messages :
" My son, as I gave to you the Lavra 1 of Studenitza, so
now I give to you the Lavra of Khilindar, that you may
keep it ever under your care, both you and your sons
after you." And besides all this he prayed for and
received letters from the Greek Emperor, which estab-
lished the rights over this new monastery for the Serbian
people from generation to generation.
Now after he had spent some long while in following
the good life of the spirit and the rule of prayer, the
holy Simeon felt in his heart that the hour of his death
drew near, and he spoke to his son Sava in secret :
" My child, the hour when we must part is at hand, and
it may be the will of the Lord to be by me. You must
serve me now, for I am taking thought for the salvation
of my soul." When he heard this, the holy Sava shed
tears and fell upon his neck, answering him : " The will
of the Lord be with thee, my father, and as I have been
upheld unto this day through thy prayers, be thou still
my defence with thy good prayers if it be indeed that
thou art going to the Christ." Then the father embraced
his son, and blessed him and kissed him and made
him promise that he would bring his body again to
When it was known on the Holy Mountain that the
hour of the far voyage of the holy monk Simeon was
come, there came to him day by day the brothers from
all the monasteries to bid him farewell. And he, calling
upon each by his name, commended himself to their
prayers. St. Sava stayed close to him the while to read
the Psalms. In good time the saint received the Holy
1 A Lavra is a monastery which has been built by a king.
io LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
Sacrament, while he was still clear in mind and soul, and
on the next day, since his sickness increased more and
more, Sava his son bore him into the church. And there
he lay so ill that he could no more speak, but only
looking upon the purity of the picture of Jesus Christ,
he said slowly as he died, "Let everything which hath
breath praise the Lord." With this song he ended his
life upon earth, his soul ascending to the Lord on the
thirteenth day of February, twelve hundred years after
Christ. St. Sava, with many others of the brethren,
buried his body in a marble sarcophagus in the church,
when all the rites had been duly fulfilled.
It came to pass after his death that the holy
Simeon appeared to his son and made known to him the
blessed state of his life by Jesus the Saviour. Now,
although Sava rejoiced exceedingly at his coming, he
wished that a yet greater glory might come though his
father, wherefore he prayed by day and by night to God
that He would glorify His great Name through His
servant Sava in whatsoever way He would. And when,
in summer time, they made memorial of his father
Simeon at the midnight office, while they sang
Te Deum, the church was suddenly filled with a very
sweet smell arising from the oil which came forth from
the body of St. Simeon. Then all those who were in
the church with St. Sava, smelling that fragrance and
being led by the sound of the boiling oil to the place
where the body lay, cried with glad voices, ''Have
mercy upon us, O Lord, " and prostrating themselves,
kissed the tomb and anointed themselves with the oil.
And St. Sava gave great thanks to God, and took one
small bottle of the oil and sent it to his brother, the
autocrat Stephen. And he, greatly desiring to have
such a holy thing in his own land, prayed his brother,
the holy Sava, to bring back the body of their father.
SAINT SIMEON n
Which thing he did, in obedience to the will of their
dead father. And on the night of the thirteenth day of
February, while Sava was celebrating the Holy Liturgy
with the bishops in the church of Studenitza, before the
autocrat himself and all the nobles, clergy and people,
once again the oil rose suddenly from the tomb and from
the pictures of St. Simeon painted on the walls of the
church. Then all who were in the church anointed
themselves with the oil, great and small they anointed
themselves, but especially those who were sick. True
body which did this great wonder lay at Studenitza till
St. Sava came back again as Serbian Archbishop. And
when he built the monastery of Zicha and there set up
his Apostolic see, he moved the relics into the Church
of the Ascension in that monastery. Of all that befell
them in the later days of the weakness of the Serbian
state and the civil wars and the coming of the Turks,
the tradition of the people has many things to tell, but
they agree not one with the other, nor are they certainly
true. There is, indeed, one story alone which may be
believed, to wit, that the relics of holy Simeon were
again moved to Studenitza in those days when the Turks
were invading the country and that they were placed in
the church of Holy Nicholas. The rising of the holy oil
came then almost to an end, for it was the will of the
Lord, to whom be all honour and glory from generation
to generation ! Amen.
THE LIFE OF SAINT SAVA (1169-1236)
ST. SAVA, the first Serbian Archbishop, the Illuminator
ahd Wonder-maker, was the son of the great prince
Stephen Nemanya, the Autocrat of Diocletia, Dalmatia,
Travonia, Bosnia, Slavonia and Rascia. In holy baptism
he was called Rastko, which is "to grow good in the
Lord." From the time that he was a child he was wise,
with a heart full of light, of a fair countenance and beloved
by all men. But Stephen and Anna, blessed with every
Christian virtue, loved this son more than all.
For he was learned in the Holy Scriptures, righteous
in his dealings, just, and with no envy in his heart ; he
shrank from all those empty longings which weaken soul
and body; and every day he went with a glad heart
to the Holy Liturgy, full of love and gentleness and
When he was eighteen years of age his parents desired
him to be married. And it happened that in those very
days the monks of the Holy Mountain of Athos came to
his father by the will of the Lord to beg alms. When
Rastko saw them he rejoiced greatly, and questioned
with them about all things in the Holy Mountain of
Athos and about the life of the monks there, and with
joy he said to them, " I see, my fathers, that the Lord
has sent your holinesses to comfort me, a sinner. Now
do I see without any doubt what is to be my way of life.
Indeed, I would not stay here one day more lest haply
envy change my heart and my desire. I would fly by
SAINT SAVA 13
myself to the Holy Mountain of Athos, but that I knew
not the way, and I fear that, as I was wandering hither
and thither, my father would take me and bring me
back, for his arm reaches far ; and thus I should cause
sorrow and trouble to my father, and bring sadness upon
myself because I should not have come to that goal
which I desire in the Lord." Then one of those monks,
a man well stricken in years, answered him, " Great is the
love between parent and child, and it may not be broken
in twain. But our Lord Jesus Christ told us we might
have to leave them for the sake of the Kingdom of
Heaven. Come quickly and fulfil the desire of your
heart, for it shall bring great blessings upon you and
upon many others. I will be your guide and servant on
this good way you seek, and I will bring you to the Holy
Mountain of the Lord." At these words the young man
rejoiced in his heart, and said to the monk, " Blessed art
thou from God, my father, for thou hast strengthened my
spirit." Then he went quickly to his parents and prayed
their blessing that he might go into the mountains to
hunt ; and he took his way, with his men and the monks,
to go a-hunting. And in the dark he covertly left his
men and travelling with speed all through the night,
at dawn was far away with the monks.
At daybreak Rastko's men sought for him in the
mountains, and when they found him not they returned
to his parents and told them all that had happened.
They, when they heard the sad tidings of their son, in
their great sorrow of heart shed many tears, and gave way
wholly to their grief, spending their days and their nights
in weeping and mourning for him. But after some time
had passed the prince came to himself, and said to his
wife, the mother of the boy, " It is not meet that we
should sorrow for him always. I trust in the Lord that
He, Who gave him to me, will grant me to see his face
i 4 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
once again." He sent one of his head men straightway,
arid many other young nobles with him, to the Holy
Mountain of Athos, giving him commandment to bring
back Rastko if he should light upon him there. When
they came to the Holy Mountain they spoke with those
they met concerning Rastko, telling them the number of
his years and describing the beauty of his countenance.
And these gave answer to them, " Such an one as you
seek came no long while before you to the Russian
Monastery of St. Pantelemon." When they heard this,
they went quickly to the monastery which was told to
them, and finding him whom they sought they rejoiced
Rastko, seeing them, wondered at the love of his
parents, and taking apart him whom his father had sent,
begged him privily not to carry out his father's commands
or at least to delay. But the head man answered to
him, " Master, if we had found you in monk's garb we
would have carried your petition to your father, but
now, since by the will of the Lord we find you in such
guise as your parents would like to see, we beg you will
go with us." When the prince heard this, he went and
begged the higumen 1 to watch and pray all the night
through, and during the time of the office to make him a
monk. And so it was ; for Rastko laid aside the dress
of his old life, and, being made monk, received the name
of Sava. This profession was made in the church of
John, the Holy Prophet and Forerunner of Jesus Christ.
When the office was at an end, all left the church.
But the prince was not among them. Then the soldiers
began to seek for him everywhere in the church, and when
they found him not they were full of wrath, and because
they thought that the fathers were hiding him they
threatened them with death. While this tumult was at
1 The higumen is the head of a monastery.
SAINT SAVA 15
its height the prince came in saying with a quiet voice,
" Here am I whom you seek," and showing himself to
them in his monk's dress. And when they grieved he
said to them, " I beseech you, be not so sad for me, but
give thanks to the Lord on my behalf because His grace
has done this thing. He on Whom I trust will do with
me whatsoever is pleasing to His holy will. So now I
pray you go home again." He gave them then in a bundle
his former princely clothes, and the hair that was cut from
his head, and said to them, " Take now these tokens and
bring them as a sign that you found me in the life and
grace of the Lord as a monk with the name Sava." Then
he gave them a letter to his parents : and they, taking
the clothes and the hair and the letter, went their way.
When it was known through all the Holy Mountain
that the son of the Serbian prince had become monk, all
desired to look upon him. Now there was a feast in
Vatoped, the imperial monastery, on the holy day of the
Annunciation to the All Holy Mother of God, and Sava
was summoned to it. And on his coming all received
him very lovingly, and prayed him as a royal prince to
remain in the Vatoped Lavra. He, rendering obedience
to the fathers and the higumen, stayed there some time
and afterwards he craved their leave and went on pilgrim-
age to all the monasteries and cells and to the peak of
the Holy Mountain. Then he returned to Vatoped,
where he prayed unceasingly, with watchings and fastings,
and rendered obedience.
After some time his parents sent to him no little gold
and all things for the service of the Church, both gold
and silver and curtains, gold embroidered, with many
more things which the monastery had need of. When
Sava received this gold he began to build churches and
cells. He built a church to the Nativity of the All
Holy Mother of God, and another to the holy John
1 6 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
Chrysostom, and a third to the Transfiguration of the
Holy Lord, together with many cells. After this he took
from the church of Vatoped the roof of stone and
covered it with lead, as it is unto this day. So was he a
benefactor to the Church. And he wrote to his father,
and among other things he said, " Now I beseech you,
my father, rise up and fulfil the order of Jesus Christ,
'Whosoever will follow Me, let him deny himself and
give up all that is his.' Lay aside all those things of
little moment, take to yourself the way of meekness and
follow me, that together we may live in this desert doing
the will of God." In the next year came his father to
him at the Vatoped monastery, and he had been already
made monk by the name of Simeon. A short while
afterwards Rastko took the old man to all the monasteries,
and again came back with him to Vatoped.
Now it happened that some one of the brethren must
needs go to Constantinople on behalf of the monastery.
The higumen would have liked to go himself, but he
doubted of his ability and besought the most wise Sava
to go for him. So Sava went to the Emperor, and was
received by him very graciously. When he had done
all the bidding of the monastery, the Emperor not only
granted his request, but promised to do even more for
the monastery. And Sava, perceiving that the time was
favourable, made this prayer to the Emperor, and spoke
thus : " My Emperor, if thy country is willing that the
monastery of Khilindar, which now lies in ruins, should
be built up once again, I and my father will rebuild it,
and it shall be called ours." The Emperor gladly gave
his consent, and to this end he granted him letters under
his seal and dismissed the holy father with imperial
gifts. On his return St. Sava told the higumen and the
brothers that all their petitions had been granted. On
the day following he showed to them the Emperor's
SAINT SAVA 17
letter about building again the monastery of Khilindar,
and he proposed to the council of the brethren that they
should allow that monastery, when it had been built
again, to be called Serbian, that whosoever of the Serbians
desired to live there might find in it a home and a sure
refuge. And the council, after no long deliberation,
gladly consented that Khilindar should be called the
Serbian Monastery. When all this had been done,
Simeon and Sava wrote a letter to the autocrat of the
Serbian land, Stephen, 1 telling him of their desire to
build a special monastery for themselves and all who
should come after them of their race and language.
Stephen then, understanding their desire, sent to them
much silver and gold and promised to them more, as
much as they had need. And now began the building,
after that holy Sava had prayed that the Heavenly Father
would look upon him, and His Holy Spirit give him
light, and the Lord God help him to build the house for
the glory of His Mother, the Ever- Virgin Mary, and that
it might ever be a refuge for the children of his father-
land, that whosoever took shelter there might find a safe
haven within its walls. First he dug the foundation and
built the refectory and cells. The church itself he
adorned with golden pictures and vessels and with rich
curtains : the walls also were enriched with gold, and the
church was dedicated to the Coming of the All Holy
Mother of God to the Temple. 2 When all was done
and it had its own buildings in Kareya, 3 holy Sava went
to Constantinople to the Emperor Alexis Comnenus,
who was a kinsman of his, and petitioned the Emperor
1 The son of King Stephen Nemanya, the elder brother of Sava,
who later became the monk Simon (see p. 37).
- Khilindar has played always a great part in Serbian history.
3 Kareya is that part of Mt. Athos where each monastery of the
mountain has a house for business purposes. It is thus a centre in
which the interests of all the communities can be discussed and action
taken in common.
1 8 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
to give him letters under his seal for Khilindar and its
lands. Now while the saint was in that city, living in
the monastery Evergetitza, there came to him a wise
woman and spoke thus : " O saint and lover of God,
the Lord and the All Holy Mother of the Lord have
bidden me give you this command. There are in the
Holy Mountain, within thy monastery in a certain place "
saying where the place was "two treasures of gold.
Seek and you will find them. Take them and do good
in the Lord." The saint, wondering at this message,
gave thanks to the Lord ; and after receiving his
blessing he kissed the patriarch and came to the Holy
It came to pass after some time that the hour of his
departure to Jesus came for St. Simeon. And he spake
thus to his loving son : " The hour of my going is very
near, my child. When in due time the Lord shall bless
them, take the remains of my sinful body and bring them
back to the land of my people, and let them lie in the
monastery Studenitza which I myself built." Then in
peaceful dreams he died and was laid to rest in a marble
tomb. And the holy Sava, in memory of his father,
gave such great alms to the poor and the strangers that
he had nothing left to him. Then it was that he re-
membered the wise woman of Constantinople who had
told him of the hidden treasure, and he came to the
place she had made known to him, and after he had
dug a little while the earth gave up its hidden treasure
and he brought it to his monastery. One part of that
treasure he gave to the monastery of the All Holy Mother
of God in Constantinople ; a second to the monasteries
in the Holy Mountain; a third to the monks of the
desert ; a fourth to his own monastery and to the poor.
So, when all this that had been entrusted to him was
finished, he retired for some time to Kareya, keeping
SAINT SAVA 19
silence there and performing the rule of prayer. And it
happened once that, as he prayed, there appeared to
him St. Simeon saying to him, "Thy spiritual life and
thy prayers and thy alms are come up before the Lord,
and because of them there is for you and for me a place
prepared. But first must thou accept of the Lord the
grace and power which He sends thee. Teach and
enlighten thy fatherland : bring to Jesus thy people : and
after that thou hast seen the Holy Places and been the
mother of good deeds to many people, thou wilt come
to us." When he heard this the saint rejoiced very
greatly, for he felt that he was in the heavenly places.
Afterward the saint desired, while he was yet on earth,
to see the glory of his father, and* he began to pray thus :
" O Lord, Thou didst permit me to see my father's glorious
state in secret, but by this that Thou has granted me, I
alone am made glad. O my Lord, Thou speakest and
it is done. Hear the words of Thy servant and send
Thy All Holy Spirit to renew the body of him who
suffered for Thy sake and now lies here in a strange
land. Give to his body the dew of Thy grace, and let
him lie at rest in Thy house, full of Thy mercy, and
grant that there may arise from his body the holy oil with
its sweet fragrance." And as all the brothers were
praying, suddenly the church was filled with a fragrance
more sweet than words can tell, and there was heard a
sound from the oil like the sound of water that boils.
Then all came to the tomb of holy Simeon and saw how
that the oil rose from his body; and St. Sava took a
little bottle of this oil and sent it to his brother, the
After this St. Sava was made deacon and priest in his
monastery, and then, at Salonika, was made archiman-
drite of Khilindar.
And it came to pass that at this time there fell great
20 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
troubles on the Serbian country. Vukan arose against
his brother Stephen, the ruler of the state ; much blood
was shed, and many of the people had to fly from the
land. In this distress, Stephen called upon his brother,
for the sake of the Lord, to come back to his father-
land to bring peace and to bless the country. When he
heard this thing, he began to weep for sorrow of heart
and determined to go and comfort the sad heart of his
brother, at the same time fulfilling the commandment of
his father. He prayed to the Lord God with many tears
that He would direct his way by His will. Then he took
the remains of his holy father and departed with some
of the brethren. The autocrat Stephen, when he had
word of his coming, went with all the clergy and great
nobles of his state to greet his brother and the honoured
body of his father. They met in the land of the Greeks,
and both with brotherly love bore the body to the
monastery Studenitza and laid it in the marble tomb
newly made ready.
When all who came for this festival had departed,
there remained only in Studenitza holy Sava and his
monks, awaiting the day when the great wonder of the
body of holy Simeon should occur again. When that
day had come the autocrat arrived with a great company
of nobles and all the bishops with many of the clergy, to
perform the all-night office and the Divine Liturgy with
holy Sava. And they rejoiced when it was given them
also to see all that which had happened in Khilindar,
for the sound was heard like unto the sound of boiling
water, and the oil arose from the body ; then St. Sava
crossed himself with it and the autocrat Stephen his
brother; the like did all the rest, and those who were
sick were healed.
After this the saint continued still in Studenitza,
which he named the Lavra of St. Simeon, and he gave
SAINT SAVA - 21
the monastery its rule of life. Then like an apostle he
travelled through all his fatherland, teaching the people
the divine dogmas of the orthodox faith, building
churches, setting forth the method of singing and
praising the Lord in the churches as it was done at
the Holy Mountain of Athos. While he was so doing
he was continually giving thought to the enmity between
his brothers. He long time urged Vukan and at last
brought him to penitence and confession of his sins
before his brother Stephen, so that he received forgive-
ness and promised to him love and obedience. From
this time the Serbian state began to grow in power and
the orthodox faith to become strong. Also St. Sava
founded now the great church of the Ascension of Our
Lord in Zicha, which afterwards became the seat of the
first Serbian archbishop.
It came to pass that the autocrat was forced to declare
war against Strez, a prince of Bulgaria. He in times
past, being in danger from his own people, had come to
Stephen : and Stephen had received him and given him
estates for his support. But when this prince had become
a little rich he had grown proud, and by his cruel acts
had grieved the Lord and his people ; finally, he had
made a league with the Greek and the Bulgarian kings
and declared war on him who had aided him in the
hour of misfortune. St. Sava desired to avoid the shed-
ding of the blood of his fellow-orthodox and sought to
keep his brother from making war. He went himself
to the camp of the enemy and with all gentleness spoke
to Strez, bringing to him the Gospel message of peace,
recalling to his mind the old lovingkindness of Stephen,
the fear of God, the punishment for the breaking of an
oath, and the reward of sin. But Strez, whose heart was
set like a flint, being reckless and full of envy, set at
nought all the teaching and counsel of the holy Sava.
22 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
Wherefore St. Sava, when he saw that he was relentless,
said to him : "It was only my zeal for the good of our
people and of you that made me speak so. But since
you will not follow the Lord and us, swift misfortune
shall come upon you." And he went his way. When
St. Sava came back to his own encampment he raised
his hands to the Lord and opened his mouth in prayer,
speaking from the depth of his heart and soul : " O
Lord, make haste to help us, for our trust is in Thee, and
grant that our enemies may not rejoice over us sinners,
but that they all may see that Thy grace is upon us.
May Thy All Holy Name be glorified." At once he saw
in the spirit what would come to pass, and he returned to
his brother the same night. And the sinful Strez, lying
asleep on his bed, cried aloud suddenly : " Ah ! Sava,
Sava!" All those who were by him asked, "What is
come to thee ? " He, hardly breathing, answered them,
"Some terrible young men, sent by Serbian Sava,
attacked me and took from me my sword and pierced
my heart." He prayed them therefore to call St. Sava ;
and they went quickly to seek him, but found him not.
So Strez perished that same night, and St. Sava brought
peace and many blessings to his fatherland. 1
Afterwards, feeling in himself the desire for the silence
of the desert, he appointed an higumen for Studenitza, a
man well tried and worthy to take his place, and bidding
farewell to his brother Stephen and kissing the tomb of
his father, he returned to his monastery Khilindar. And
after some short while he went from there to his silent
cell in Kareya.
It came to pass by the providence of the Lord, that
some few years after this, holy Sava went to the Greek
Emperor Theodore Laska on behalf of his monastery.
The Emperor received him very graciously, in part
1 Put see death of Strez, p. 41,
SAINT SAVA 23
because it was seemly so to do, in part because he was
akin to him for the nephew of Sava, Radoslav, had
married the daughter of the Emperor. Here St. Sava,
when he had brought to a good end the affairs of his
monastery, desired to do something of use to his father-
land also. Wherefore, taking to heart the counsel sent
him by the Lord, he prayed first to God and came after-
ward to the Emperor, saying to him : " The Lord, who
wills salvation for all men, of His grace drove out all
heresies from my country through the deeds of my
father. One thing we lack still in our state our own
Serbian archbishop. Therefore I beseech your imperial
clemency to advise the holy patriarch to consecrate one
of the brothers who are with me that he may be arch-
bishop of the Serbian land." The Emperor gladly agreed
to this, and summoned to his presence the patriarch and
his synod, together with his nobles and the brothers that
were with St. Sava, and with them he took counsel which
of them he should direct to be archbishop. And when
they had prayed, the Emperor spake to the holy Sava
and said : " Thy brethren are good and holy men, but
it is on you and not on them that this grace should be
bestowed, according to the counsel which our hearts
have been vouchsafed. Wherefore it is the Lord's will
that thou be the first archbishop of thy fatherland, its
first apostle and teacher." So said all those who were
assembled with him also. St. Sava long time refused,
but as all urged him without ceasing he gave way, and
being thus elected, he was consecrated to be archbishop of
the Serbian land by the holy patriarch of Constantinople,
German, in presence of the Emperor and all his nobles.
Holy Sava thus accepted the lot which the Lord had
given him. But he began to think now concerning the
great distance which lay between the Serbian land and
Constantinople, concerning the great cost of so long
24 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
a journey and the many gifts which he and those who
came after him would have to make whenever they came
to Constantinople ; the frequent wars also between east
and west, and concerning dissensions in the synod about
the persons elected and the coming to that city to be
consecrated. So he went to the Emperor and prayed
him on this wise : " My Emperor, enlightened of the
Lord, thou hast treated us with perfect love and mercy,
but I beg thee of thy clemency establish that from this
I time it may not be needful that the archbishop of the
Serbian land should come here to be consecrated, but
i let him be elected and consecrated by his own bishops.''
This request was not very pleasing to the Emperor and
the patriarch, but for the great love they bore him,
they gave their consent. So the patriarch, with all the
synod, wrote letters with their blessing and gave them
to St. Sava, together with the bishop's staff and vest-
ments. And the Emperor also gave him letters and let
When St. Sava came back to the Holy Mountain men
came to him from all the mountain to Khilindar for his
blessing. He received them all lovingly, comforted
them, and gave presents unto them, asking their prayers
also. At their request he went to many of their monas-
teries to offer the Liturgy and to make many persons
deacons and priests, and afterward he returned to his
monastery. He taught the higumen of the monastery
in what way he might give an example of good life to the
brothers, and the brothers he taught to be obedient to
the higumen for Jesus Christ's sake. Then, taking with
him some of the brothers whom he knew to be worthy to
I be bishops, he sent word to his brother and started him-
self with these to the Serbian country. Stephen sent to
meet him his bishops and his nobles and his sons (for he
himself was sick), and so with great honour came the
SAINT SAVA 25
holy Sava to his sick brother, the autocrat, wnom he healed
with prayers and the sprinkling of holy water. Then
he went to Studenitza, the Serbian Lavra, and prayed
in this holy church, kissing the tomb of his father, and
came afterward to Zicha, the seat of the Serbian arch-
bishopric. Hither, as the feast of the Ascension of the
Lord drew near, he called to him his brother the autocrat,
his nobles and clergy and a great multitude of the people,
and spoke thus : " It is known unto you all how t that in
the beginning I fled into the desert, how I came again
but once to see you and then departed, because I despised
all the beauty of this world for the sake of the love of
the Lord. And now once more am I come to you, my
own people, because I have at heart the salvation of
your souls. If you are obedient unto us, who have
taught you in the Lord, and if you keep the 'command-
ments of the Lord, you will receive your reward. Now I
have somewhat to say to all you who hear me. Behold
how the Lord God, through the prayers of our holy
father Simeon, has multiplied and increased you a thou-
sandfold, and has made many of you princes and voie-
vodes. 1 But it is not meet that he who rules you in the
Lord with the glory of power should be yet of one title
with you. And now also I have been placed for your
sake as chief in the Church with the power of the priest-
hood. Wherefore it is the more necessary to adorn him
who rules you in the Lord with the crown of kingship, for
that will be an honour and a glory to you also." When
they all heard this, they bowed themselves before the
Lord and praised His chief shepherd. And so, during
the Divine Liturgy in the time of consecration set apart
for that purpose, St. Sava called the prince Stephen to
the altar, read over him the prayer of blessing, anointed
him with the holy chrism, put on him the kingly purple,
1 Voievode, a small chieftain or baron.
26 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
placed the crown upon his head, gave into his hand the
sceptre of a king, and girded him with the king's sword,
' crying : " Long life to the first crowned King of Serbia,
Stephen, autocrat ! " Then again, the day after, the
holy Sava began to preach in the church to his own
people : " Brothers, my companions and children in the
Lord, hear ye and give ear, for I speak for love's sake
and the good of your souls." And beginning from the
Resurrection he spoke to them of the history of our
salvation, and expounded to them the holy sacraments
and the creed, and all the people listened with glad
I hearts, saying, " As you tell and interpret, so we believe
/ and confess, so we will observe and do, most holy father."
And when he had ended the holy gospel in the Liturgy he
caused the king to make oath and to recite the Orthodox
creed in the hearing of all the people. So likewise did all
/^the nobility, saying, " We acknowledge the canons of the
Seven Holy Oecumenical Councils and the nine local
synods which were held for the strengthening of the
Orthodox faith. We honour the holy eikons and the
Light-giving Cross. We confess the seven sacraments of
the New Testament. We believe that in the bread and
wine we are partakers of the Body and Blood of Jesus
Christ. We honour and bow to the holy relics, and we do
all believe and confess what is in the Holy Gospels given
by God, all things as they are ordered by the holy
apostles and by the Fathers enjoined for our souls'
Now when the Hungarian king had heard that the
Serbian state had a crowned king, which had none
before, he was ill pleased because of this raising up of
the autocrat Stephen, and full of pride and envy he
declared war on him. Stephen, because he desired to
avoid the shedding of blood on both sides for such a
little matter, sent his brother the Archbishop Sava to
heal the breach and bring the Hungarian king to a more
peaceful mind. So St. Sava went and was^feceived with
great honour. Then he began to speak unto the king
in all gentleness concerning the Lord's words about
peace and love and justice and truth. But he would
not hearken to the meek words of holy Sava, but raging
more furiously, threatened war. Then the Lord did a
wonderful thing at the prayers of his saint, for there!
came hail out of the clouds all round the tent in which
the holy Sava stood. When the king saw this, he
repented him of his anger and wicked intentions, and he
said to the saint, " Blessed art thou of the Lord, most
reverend father, and blessed is that day on which thou
hast come to us, for thou hast enlightened our hearts.
Go in peace with the Lord and be witness from me to
thy brother of my peacefulness and affection." So once
again St. Sava brought peace to his fatherland and his
And it came to pass a short while after that King
Stephen fell ill and besought the saint to come to
him and make him monk. But St. Sava delayed until
he should recover; while he delayed King Stephen
died and nothing had been done in the matter of
appointing some one to fill his place. When holy Sava
heard this, he came quickly to that place and was
grieved because he had not fulfilled his brother's will.
Then he prayed very earnestly to the good Lord, and as
he made the sign of the Cross upon the breast of the
dead king he said, " Rise, brother, and speak with me."
And the king awoke as from a dream, and being then
made monk with the name Simon, he blessed his eldest
son, Radoslav, and gave him authority to rule. And so
After St. Sava had anointed and crowned Radoslav
king, he departed to the Holy Place of Jerusalem, taking
28 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
with him many gifts. And when he came there he
venerated first the tomb of the Lord and then the other
holy places, presenting the gifts which he had brought.
Afterwards he went to the Jordan to the monastery of
St. Sava the Blessed. And the fathers of this monastery
gave to him the staff of Sava the Blessed. For they told
him that it had been handed down from the fathers of
old that the founder of this monastery had commanded
that this staff should be kept, and whensoever there
should come from the West countries some one bearing
the same name, who was the founder of a people, it
should be given to him. Then he returned again to
Jerusalem, where he besought the patriarch for some
relics, and took his way again to his fatherland, visiting
the Holy Mountain and Khilindar on his way.
When King Radoslav heard that the saint was coming
back, he himself with his bishops and nobles went out
to meet him and came with him to Studenitza, where
St. Sava celebrated a requiem for his brother, the monk
Simeon, and brought his body to Zicha. He rested a
little then, and went through the Serbian country,
strengthening his flock and teaching them.
Some time after it came to pass that King Radoslav
for some reason was made monk, and his brother Vladi-
slav was raised up to be king. This was not pleasing to
1 St. Sava, but by the favour of the Lord he anointed and
' crowned him for the Serbian kingdom. And now that
he saw his people in good estate, and the Church and
kingdom also, he consecrated to be archbishop in his
place his disciple Arseni, and went again to the East, to
Jerusalem and the Holy Places, and so to Alexandria
and the deserts of Libya and the Thebaid, where he
visited the monks of the desert. From thence he passed
to Mount Sinai and venerated the relics of St. Katharine ;
and, after that, he went to Antioch, to the seat of one
SAINT SAVA 29
of the first four patriarchates. Once more he went to
Jerusalem, and from there, through Constantinople, he
came to the town of Turnovo, to his kinsman Asen, the
Bulgarian king, whose daughter had married Vladislav
the king of the Serbian country. Asen rejoiced greatly
at the coming of the saint and received him in his
palace, where, since it was winter, he had all things made
warm for him.
Now the feast of the Holy Epiphany drew near, and
the king and the Bulgarian patriarch besought St. Sava
during the service on the evening before the feast to
celebrate the holy Liturgy on the next morning and to
bless the waters, which was the duty of the patriarch on
that day. After the feast the saint fell ill, and perceiving
that his end was near, he called his disciples to him and
gave them the holy relics to carry to the king and the
archbishop, Arseni. He himself, after some days of
prayer, received the Holy Sacrament, and at midnight, \
with these last words, " Glory be to the Lord for all His
goodness," he gave up his soul, in the year 1236. The
patriarch washed the body himself, and clothed him in
splendid vestments, and buried him on the fourteenth
day of January in the royal monastery of the Forty
Martyrs of Sebaste. His marble tomb he adorned with
candles and with lamps.
Some time after King Vladislav came with his nobles
to the town Turnovo, and Archbishop Arseni, with his
bishops and clergy, took the body of St. Sava and brought
it to the Serbian monastery Mileshevo, which King
Vladislav had built ; and there his bones rested in peace
till the twenty-ninth day of April in the year 1595, when
Sinan Pasha oppressed our people, and, stretching forth
his sacrilegious Turk's hands he took the sarcophagus
with its relics and bore them to the field Vratchar near
Belgrade, where he burnt them, thinking thus to destroy
3 o LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
the glory and the memory of St. Sava. But the name
of that saint will always be held in highest honour.
Through his prayers do Thou, Jesus Christ our
Lord, grant us to live in peace, doing Thy Holy Will.
THE LIFE OF OUR HOLY FATHER ARSENI,
THE year and the place in which this great man of
our Church was born are not known to us, for he
appeared in our fatherland when he was already full
grown. Only one thing is certain, that he was the son
of good parents, and that Sirmie was their country, where
to this day Orthodox Serbians live. This saint, feeling
in his heart a secret longing for the spiritual life and
rule, and choosing the eternal rather than the transitory,
the godly rather than the vain, desired to climb by the
ladder of the spiritual exercises and the Gospel virtues.
Wherefore, with warm prayers he prepared himself for
the service of the Lord God and His Church, and going
to the monastery, was made monk. When he heard
tell of the holy Sava, the first Serbian archbishop, how
he enlightened the Serbian country with his teaching and
baptism, instructed the faithful in patience and repentance,
and ministered forgiveness of their sins, he himself also,
enlightened with grace, came to him as on wings. For
he desired to be near the man of God, who was as an
apostle, and learn how he might rise from earthly to
heavenly things, from corruption to incorruption, from
the things of men to the things of God. So when he
came to the monastery Zicha, where was the archbishop's
throne of St. Sava, he begged some of the brothers to
tell the saint, and he was received lovingly by that
32 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
To him, desiring the divine love and wisdom, a wide
field was opened out help, O Lord, the teacher who
attempts the spiritual exercises and the young disciple
did not shrink from work, but he rendered glad obedience
to "the yoke that is easy," overcoming its manifold
temptations one by one with full obedience and
When he had spent long time in these spiritual exer-
cises with gladness and constancy and had increased in
spiritual stature, the saint made him ecclesiarch 1 in the
Church of the Ascension of our Saviour. At this appoint-
ment to the service of the Church Arseni was greatly
rejoiced, for he saw in it a sign of the favour of the arch-
bishop and the fatherly love of his great teacher. He
increased more and more in zeal, praying secretly to
Jesus the Lord, who gave him grace, and he confessed
to Him his weakness, beseeching Him to give him counsel,
to strengthen him for His service, and to lead him by His
Holy Spirit to do the work that was given him to do.
Through such prayers he grew strong in hope and the
grace of the Holy Ghost and the fear of God : for many
years he carried out his duties as ecclesiarch in a godly
way, living a good life with humility and purity of soul.
When Archbishop Sava saw this he made him higumen
of the glorious monastery of Zicha, giving into his charge
all the buildings within the church and without. This
was done before the first voyage of St. Sava to Jerusalem,
to the end that while he was away the good rule of the
holy house might not slacken.
When St. Sava returned from the Holy Places to his
monastery he found all things ruled aright and in good
condition, so that he was very glad. Now at this time
their Hungarian neighbour, who was ever greedy for the
plunder of foreign lands, had taken possession of some
1 A kind of " precentor." This church was at Zicha.
THE MONASTERY OF PECH
HOLY FATHER ARSENI 33
part of the Serbian land near the border by force of arms,
through his repeated invasions of that country. St. Sava,
therefore, though he hoped that the Hungarian attacks
would be some time beaten off and the uniiavited guest
sent back to his own country, determined to be ready for
any future chance, and ordered the higumen Arseni to go
a little into the Serbian country to the south and find
another safe place where the Serbian archbishopric might
be set up. Arseni, obedient as ever to his lord, went
where he was bidden and after looking at many different
places, chose out one in the country of Hvostom, which
was afterwards called Metohia. And there, at the foot
of the mountains, amid the rocks and caves, he signified
that the church should be built, with the cells which it
would need, and returning told the saint of the good
place he had found. Then the holy archbishop gave
orders for the building of the church of the holy Princes
of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. The new monastery
was called Pech, after the peshcher (caves) in that
place, and the rocks on the east side of the church, and
afterwards it became the Serbian patriarchal see during
the reign of Stephen Dushan, the Serbian tsar.
And now that the holy Sava had been passing to and
fro through his dioceses with great zeal for many years,
teaching all men great and small, and now that he could
give glory to God because He had made for his country
an archbishop, bishops, monks and voievodes, and praise
Him for that He had adorned his fatherland with great
catholic churches, with worthy monasteries well ruled
and governed, he thought to lay aside the archbishop's
authority and to end his life in a strange land, for he
desired not the praise of men. Wherefore he determined
to go a second time on pilgrimage, and he called to
him and consecrated in his place the higumen Arseni,
because he knew him for a godly man who lived in the
34 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
fear of the Lord and kept His commandments, a just
man and thinking no evil. So he laid all his authority
on the holy Arseni in the monastery Zicha. He cele-
brated the Liturgy, and called him to be his successor
before all the bishops and in the presence of King
To the honour of St. Arseni it must be told that he
at first refused, holding himself not worthy of such a
dignity, nor strong enough to bear such a burden with
which were united such great and difficult duties. But
this profession of unworthiness was only a sign of his
great meekness ; and when St. Sava insisted he finally
gave his consent and took the throne of the archbishop
of the Serbian country. When all this was so well
ended, St. Sava started on his long journey, and St.
Arseni remained to rule that Church and vineyard of the
Lord to which he had been appointed. The spiritual
arm fell on no one oppressively, but lightly and justly.
He was never remiss in doing good and giving alms,
but followed the example of his great and blessed pre-
decessor in both these duties. He both instructed the
people in sermons and corrected them by his God-like
life. Good customs he introduced and preserved : bad
customs he rooted up by his sanctity and patience. Sin-
ners he called to repentance and newness of life, chasten-
ing them with good counsel, and praying for them that
they might return out of their evil ways. The lost and
those who had given heart and mind to other things he
corrected with the words of truth and strong meat of the
Gospels, giving himself no rest till they had come back
to the wisdom of righteousness with full consent.
While St. Arseni was engaged upon these labours in
the Church of the Living God, there came to him the
embassy of the blessed Sava from Turnovo, the capital
of the Bulgarian state, bringing with them letters from
HOLY FATHER ARSENI 35
the saint and gifts from the Serbian churches, but also
the sad tidings that St. Sava was hardly yet alive in that
town. Other messengers arrived a short while after,
bearing the news of the short illness anc[ death of the
saint. Then all the Serbian land mourned for him.
Behold how the Lord fulfilled the desire of St. Sava 'to
die in a strange land ! When the next year came the
body of the saint still lay in Turnovo, and the honoured
and blessed Archbishop Arseni went unto the godly
King Vladislav and spoke thus : " It is not right in
the eyes of God or man to leave our father, whom Jesus
gave to us that apostle and teacher who toiled and
laboured so well, adorning the Serbian country with
churches and a crowned king, with an archbishop and
bishops, and with all the rules and canon law of Ortho-
doxy to leave the body of that father outside the
frontiers of his fatherland and throne. I beseech thee,
make it thy care to have his relics brought back hither
to his fatherland." This petition was very pleasing to
King Vladislav, and he wrote once and twice to his
wife's father the Bulgarian tsar, Asen, demanding from
him the body of his uncle. To his first letter the tsar
made answer : " If the body of St. Sava lay here un-
honoured and uncared for, you would have cause to
make this request. But since it lies in peace and is kept
safe among us as surely as though it lay with you, why
trouble ye the saint and yourselves ? " To the second
letter he made answer: "Since it pleased the Lord that
the saint should die here, trusting in Christ, who am I
to oppose the will of the Lord and to shake the tomb
and relics of holy Sava, who left no testamentary direc-
tion about any such change? In vain you ask this of
me, for I cannot grant it. Seek not to obtain it by
force, for the patriarch and the nobles and all the city
will be opposed to you." But King Vladislav could no
36 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
longer bear the reproaches of his people ; and he feared
lest he should grieve the Lord if the body of St. Sava
remained in a strange country. So he took the road
himself, many of his nobles, bishops and higumens bear-
ing him company, and the Bulgarian king yielded, and
gave up the body of his uncle. Vladislav bade his men
set to work with all speed lest the Bulgarian tsar should
change his mind which indeed came to pass. But it
was then too late, for the remains of holy Sava were
brought away without mischance by our people, so that
when Vladislav came up to them on the road he rejoiced
greatly. Now, as they drew near the Serbian territory
there came to meet the holy remains the Archbishop
Arseni with his whole synod and many of the nobles,
and did reverence as was meet to the holy relics, and
kissed them, and brought them with singing of psalms
and hymns to the monastery Mileshevo, which King
Vladislav had built. And there in the great Church of
the Ascension of our Lord the sarcophagus was placed
in a worthy tomb which Vladislav had himself made ready.
The saint, Arseni, performed all the rites in memory
of his teacher and benefactor never to be forgotten, and
then went back to Zicha. But stricken in years and
enfeebled by sorrow for holy Sava who lay dead in the
Lord, he knew well that his own hour drew near.
Where r ore, while he still had the strength, he raised up
in his place Sava II ,to be archbishop of the Serbian
land. Bent and shrunken by a long and weary illness
he received the Holy Sacrament and gave up his soul
to God on the twenty-eighth day of October, and was
buried in the Pech Church of the Holy Apostles Peter
and Paul, after ruling the Serbian country for thirty years.
Through his prayers, grant us, Christ Jesus, to come
with peaceful soul and pure conscience to the quiet
refuge of Thy Kingdom. Amen.
THE LIFE OF SAINT SIMON PRVOVENCHANI,
SON OF STEPHEN NEMANYA l
ST. SIMON was the son of the godly King Stephen
Nemanya and the Princess Anna, and was given the
name of Stephen in Holy Baptism a good branch of
a good root. He was the first-born of many brothers
and sisters, gentle in his nature, of a loving heart and a
spirit lit from God. When his father, zhupan of the
Serbian people and first in dignity, was stricken in years
and desired to lay aside the heavy burden of rule that
he might end the days of his old age in prayer and
spiritual exercises, in the presence of all the lords and
nobles of all ranks, together with the bishops and the
Holy Synod assembled, he called his eldest son Stephen
before him, blessed him before them all, and gave into
his hand the sceptre of rule. Then he spake to all the
people assembled : " Behold, in the name of God, I
raise up this my son to rule in my stead the state which
was entrusted to me by God and by your love. Where-
fore I bid you all to be obedient and faithful to him as
you have been to me."
When he came to the throne Stephen ruled by love,
ever protecting those who were oppressed, feeding the
poor, giving abundant alms to the aged and helpless,
1 Stephen Prvovenchani ("first crowned") became ruler or
Serbia iu 1196, when his father, Stephen Nemanya, abdicated and
became the monk Simeon. In 1220 he was crowned king, thus
destroying all traces of the suzerainty of the kings of Hungary and
Greece. In 1227 he became monk with the name Simon, and
38 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
administering justice, treating his subjects as comrades,
brothers and children, like one who knew that he must
give account of his deeds at the Last Judgment. He
watched over the Holy Orthodox Faith, cleansing it of
all heresies. He built also churches, among which the
most worthy of note is Zicha : in a word, he exercised
all the Gospel virtues, following thus the Lord God who
loves His chosen.
And it came to pass that there was brought from the
Holy Mountain Athos a letter from his father, the monk
Simeon, and his brother, the priest-monk Sava, in which
they told him of their purpose to build a monastery
which would be unlike all others, for it would be built
" in the name of our family and of the Serbian people,
who will in their prayers remember thee, and after thee
thy sons and thy sons' sons for ever." The godly and
Christian king and ruler of the Serbians rejoiced greatly
because of this good purpose for his people and his
country ; and he sent to them much gold and silver,
promising at the same time to give them all they needed
for the monastery called Khilindar.
After a little time St. Sava wrote to him and told him
concerning the death of their father, the saintly monk
Simeon, and how, by the grace of the Lord, the body of
this holy man gave forth healing oil, some of which he
sent in a little bottle. When the zhupan his brother,
Stephen, received the letter and the holy oil, he bowed
himself to the ground and kissed the oil, giving thanks
to the Lord for such a grace granted to his father's
At this time, when there was peace and quietness in
the Serbian state on every side, the Tempter of man-
kind stirred up Vukan, Prince of Zeta and Humlie, the
younger brother of the zhupan Stephen, and put in his
heart the desire not only to free himself from Stephen's,
SAINT SIMON PRVOVENCHANI 39
lordship over Zeta and Humlie, but to depose him from
his throne and make himself ruler over all the country.
The Christ-loving Stephen, seeing himself in danger from
his younger brother and recoiling from the shedding of
blood on either side, wrote to the godly ^Sava on Mount
Athos, praying him on this wise : " O brother and my
holy father, so dear to my heart and soul, hear the voice
of my lamentation, incline thine ear unto my sighings
and show us lovingkindness for the Lord's sake. When
thou, my brother, and my father, didst depart from us,
our country became foul with sin, civil war arose and
blood was shed among a people of one race and faith.
Very nearly was I taken prisoner, and because of our
strife we are become a laughing-stock to those that are
round about us. Wherefore I pray thee, O my father
and brother, come quickly to our fatherland and bring
with thee the body of our father, Simeon, that in some
way, through thy holy prayers and thy presence in
our midst, God may shine in His mercy upon us, our
enemies be destroyed, and all that now is scattered may
be made one again."
The godly saint Sava, anxious to raise up and comfort
the sorrowing heart of his brother in this trouble, and at
the same time to fulfil the dying behest of his father,
came back to his fatherland bearing with him the relics.
Then was discord turned into peace, sorrow into joy,
and their feuds into brotherly concord. His brother
Vukan was reconciled and brought to obedience; re-
penting of his lawless deeds, he prostrated himself and
vowed a vow that he would never again rebel against the
lordship of his elder brother. So was the love between
them made greater than before, and peace and quietness
reigned in Serbia : the power of the state was strength-
ened : its borders were enlarged : and the Orthodox
Faith grew and flourished,
40 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
At this time there came to the zhupan Stephen one
of the princes of Bulgaria, Strez by name, a kinsman ot
John, Tsar of Bulgaria and Zagorye, whose realm Boris
had taken. Now Strez was brave and a little inclined to
evil, so that Boris had feared lest he should be killed by
him and his kingdom taken. That he might prevent
this he had set himself to persecute him so as to make
an end of him. When Strez perceived that his life was
in danger, he had fled to the benign Stephen and be-
sought his protection. The Christ-loving Stephen had
received him and all that followed him with affection,
treating him as a brother and giving him the town ot
Prosek, on the river Nardar, with the land about it,
that he might rule over it. After a while, when Strez
had grown rich, he became proud and began to oppress
his subjects, so that at length, for little or no fault, he used
to slay his people, hurling them from the tops of the high
cliffs into the river below. Such were his pleasures : and
afterward he would make himself drunk with wine. When
tidings of these things came to Stephen he was very sor-
rowful and his conscience smote him because he had
suffered such a man to be ruler. Therefore he wrote a
letter to him, giving him counsel, and beseeching him to
cease from his barbarous and cruel ways. But Strez not
only paid no heed to this gentle and friendly counsel, not
only did he refuse to turn aside from his evil ways, but
he became ever more barbarous and full of treachery.
He made a league with the Greek and the Bulgarian tsar;
and, receiving from the twain some armed forces, he made
war on his benefactor. When the zhupan saw that he
must resist this relentless foe, he first prostrated himself
in prayer, saying : " Help me, O Lord : come, Lord, to
my aid and strengthen me. Give me not over unto the
will of mine adversaries, for the sake of the prayers of
Thy Holy Mother and Thy servant my father Simeon.
SAINT SIMON PRVOVENCHANI 41
Behold, Lord, my enemy who would render me evil for
good." This he prayed with much else, and then gave
orders to the commanders of his armies to make ready
the soldiers for battle. But in the providence of God
and by the mediation of the holy father Sava, Strez was
brought to destruction before the battle. For he was
seized by a strange fear which came on him from Heaven,
and lifted up his hand against himself, piercing himself
with his own dagger. When the leaders of his army
saw this, some fled away homewards, others did homage
to the zhupan Stephen.
When his brother, the holy father Sava, after going to
the Holy Mountain Athos, returned some time later as
archbishop of the whole Serbian people, Stephen was sick
and could not go forth to meet him. Then St. Sava
came to him and sprinkled him with holy water, and
with his prayers raised him from the bed and healed
him. With a twofold joy Stephen rejoiced, because his
brother had come and because he had healed him. He
praised the Lord with a loud voice, and falling at the
feet of the archbishop, his brother, he poured forth his
thankfulness from a full heart : and he gave great alms
to the poor for his healing.
It came to pass after this that the king went to the
monastery of Zicha to his brother the Archbishop Sava,
with all his lords and nobles. It was the season of the
Feast of the Ascension. The archbishop, while he cele-
brated the Holy Liturgy, called the prince, Stephen, to
him at the altar and blessed him, and anointed him
with the holy oil and dressed him in the royal purple.
After that, he put a crown upon his head, girded him
with the kingly sword, gave into his hand the sceptre of
royal power, and sang, " Long live the King ! " On the
morrow all came again to the church, and after the
reading of the Gospel the archbishop began to recite
42 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
the creed of the Orthodox Faith and bade the king and
all the assembly to repeat it with him. Which thing
they did. Now all this came to pass in the year 1222.
When the Hungarian king heard that Stephen had
been crowned king without his consent, he was envious
of this glory and sent an envoy to him to declare war.
The peace-loving King Stephen, condemning in his
heart a strife which could only bring harm to both
sides and wishing to prevent the bloodshed, besought
his brother, the Archbishop Sava, to turn the King of
Hungary from his sinful purpose. This he brought
about by his wisdom and by the help of the Lord.
Not long after King Stephen fell ill and prayed his
brother, St. Sava, to make him monk. But St. Sava
would not, saying to him, " In due time will I do this
thing." When St. Sava had gone back to Zicha, the
king fell ill again so ill that he scarce breathed. A
second time he called upon his brother to make him
monk before he died. St. Sava made haste to come to
the sick man, but he did not reach him before he died.
Thus he had died without having received the monk's
habit and without settling who should succeed him on
the throne. After he had breathed his last breath, came
St. Sava : kneeling down he prayed to God that the soul
which had left the body might return. After his prayer
he made the sign of the cross upon the breast of the
dead, saying, "Arise, brother, and speak with me."
Then did the dead arise as from a dream. He opened
his eyes, and seeing the saint before him, took his hand
and kissed it. The saint raised him up and made him
be seated, and straightway made him monk, giving him
the name Simon. Then did the monk Simon receive
the Holy Sacrament and gave up his spirit to the Lord
with the words, " Glory be to God for all things," in the
year of Our Lord 1224. His dead body was brought
SAINT SIMON PRVOVENCHANI 43
to Studenitza and there buried with honour in a marble
tomb close to his father.
Some time after the holy Sava removed the remains
to Zicha, whence, during the reign of Vladislav, they were
brought again to Studenitza. When Urosh the First
built the monastery Sopochani they carried the relics of
this godly man to that glorious church, where they rested
one hundred and fifty-two years, that is, till the fall of
the Serbian kingdom under Lazar. After the death
of his son, Stephen the Tall, they hid the sarcophagus
with the relics of the godly man to keep them from the
sacrilegious hands of the Turks, and so they continued
for the space of two hundred and eleven years, no living
man knowing of the place of their rest. In the year of
Christ 1629 the godly man appeared thrice in a dream
to the higumen of the monastery of Sopochani, bidding
him to take him up from the darkness of the earth. A
little while after he appeared also to the Serbian Patri-
arch, Paisi, and likewise to the Metropolitan of Rascia,
bidding the latter to come to the fortress of Jeletch.
And when he had so done, he met there the Patriarch
Paisi, whereupon they set out together for the monastery
Sopochani. At the end of the Holy Liturgy they went
out in their vestments to the place shown to them in
their dreams, and the patriarch ordered men to dig.
And when they had made an end, they took the sarco-
phagus and placed the relics in the church of Sopochani
with great rejoicing.
In the year 1686 the monks of Sopochani, in fear ot
the Turks, removed the sarcophagus to Montenegro and
placed it in the church of the Holy Archangel, which is
in the mountains ; and there it remained fourteen years.
After which, in the year 1701, they were again removed
to Studenitza and remained there till 1719. In that
year, war was declared against the Turks by the empires
44 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
of Russia and Austria ; and since the Turks, who
wrought such evil upon the Orthodox and Serbian lands,
began to burn the holy churches to the earth, the sarco-
phagus was taken by the monks to Kraljevo first, in the
days of the Epiphany whence it was borne to Jagodina,
arriving there on the seventeenth day of January. From
Jagodina to Gradska it was carried overland, and from
Gradska to Belgrade by water. From Belgrade there
came out to meet the relics of the saint, the metropolitan
of the city, Dionysius, with all his clergy and much
people. He brought them into the church, and there
they rested from the first day of February to the eighteenth
day of September. When peace was made between the
peoples at war, and Serbia was left to the mercy (and lack
of mercy) of the Turks, it was determined that some place
which was free from danger must be sought for the sarco-
phagus, and so it came about that it was taken by water
on the Danube to the monastery of Voylovitza, near
Panchevo, in the Banat. From there it was brought back
on the first day of December in the year 1791, to Raji-
novatz, near Gradska, and from there again to Studenitza,
whither it came on the nineteenth day of February of
the following year.
But these relics, so sacred to the nation, were not
destined to rest in peace, for even now there came no
respite from movement. In 1804 Serbia arose in armed
revolt under her leader Karageorge Petrovich against
the hateful cruelties of the most accursed of the
Turkish " dachilas " (rulers) in Belgrade. Although
the rising of our warriors was successful, nevertheless
in the space of ten years the Turks, ever enemies of the
Orthodox Faith, came many times to Studenitza with
fire and sword and pillage. Wherefore the monks of
the monastery, foreseeing what would happen, were
at pains to find in good time a fitting place for the
SAINT SIMON PRVOVENCHANI 45
sarcophagus of this godly man, and came in the year 1805
to the monastery of Vrachevshnitza. But here also was
there no quiet refuge for the relics of the holy Simon :
for after eight years, when our strength passed from us
through jealousies and disputes among ourselves, the
victorious Turks came with fire and sword upon men,
villages and churches. And so the monjis brought the
sarcophagus away and carried it across the river Sava,
on the twenty-first day of October in the year 1813, at
Semlin, a frontier town of Austria. And afterwards it
was handed over to the monks of the monastery of Fenek,
near to the river, where it remained till the June of the
year following, when it was taken to the monastery of
Beochin on the far side of Frushka Gora and there
rested till December.
When there came a convenient season and peace pre-
vailed in Serbia through the labours of Prince Milosh
Obrenovich, then was the time to bear back the sarco-
phagus, and it was brought to the monastery of Kalenich
(December 8, 1816). Later, on the twentieth day of
August, 1839, it was removed to the convent of Studen-
itza, where to-day it rests in peace. 1 The relics have
power to heal all who come to them with faith in this
protector of our nation.
Through his prayers grant us, Lord Jesus Christ,
pardon for our sins and life everlasting. Amen.
1 During the retreat of the Serbian army before the Austrians
and Bulgarians in 1915, the relics of St. Simon were dragged over
the mountains of Albania and are now in Montenegro.
THE LIFE OF THE THEOPHOROS STEPHEN
MILUTIN, KING OF ALL SERBIA AND
THIS Milutin Theophoros, great in virtue and abound-
ing in mercy, was the younger son of the Serbian king,
Urosh I (1242-1276) and Helen, and this Urosh was
the third son of Stephen Prvovenchani, called as a monk
Simon. Before he came to the throne he was called
Milutin, a name he received in Holy Baptism, and
after he became king he was .named Milutin Stephen
Urosh II Stephen because of the first crowned king,
his grandfather, Urosh from the name of his father ; and
since he lived righteously and his body after death was
glorified by our Lord with incorruption, therefore he was
In his youth his teacher was the blessed Serbian
archbishop Daniel, a holy and God-like man, very skilled
in spiritual wisdom and the Holy Scriptures, who wrote
and handed down for us the genealogy of the Serbian
kings down to his own time. When we are mindful of
the wisdom and experience of this great teacher, it is
easy for us to judge of the disciple, of the qualities of
his mind and heart and the way of his spirit. He
was meek and gentle, merciful and just, peaceful and
courteous. For these qualities all those historians of
other lands, who have written the story of the Serbian
state, praise him. So Milutin was beloved of all men,
both his own people and strangers.
His own brother, Dragutin, from the same mother,
THEOPHOROS STEPHEN MILUTIN 47
Helen, showed great promise, and his parents were care-
ful for him, bringing him up lovingly in the good Faith,
in the fear of the Lord, in purity and every virtue. When
he grew up it was the desire of the parents that he should
marry, and they took for him to be his wife the girl
Katharine, daughter of the Hungarian king, Vladislav.
Before the marriage took place, King Urosh promised
before his death to give the throne to this son Dragutin.
Thus he made oath to the Hungarian king, saying, " I
will that you give your daughter to my son Dragutin,
whom I will name Autocrat and King of all Serbia and
the coastlands before the time of my far voyage to my
father." With this condition the marriage came to pass,
and Dragutin with his wife, and afterwards his children,
lived in the court of his parents, waiting to receive that
which had been promised to him.
When the younger son, Milutin, was of an age, his
parents desired him to be married also. Now Michael
Palseologus, the Greek emperor, knowing that the
Serbian King Urosh had a son unmarried, and being in
great trouble through the Crusaders who had driven him
from Constantinople, hoped to obtain the help of the
Serbian army by means of a marriage. Wherefore he
sent his youngest daughter, Anna, with the Patriarch and
a great company of his court, with the proposal that they
should take the imperial child as betrothed. But Urosh
the king considered the condition of affairs at that time
cunningly, and preferred the peace which was so great a
benefit to his state to an emperor who should be his
kinsman ; so the embassy, with the child, returned with
nothing accomplished. Milutin remained unmarried for
six years longer and then took to wife Elizabeth the
daughter of the Hungarian king, Andrew III, and
she bore to him one son, Stephen, afterwards called
48 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
While King Urosh was ruling Serbia and the coast-
lands in peace and with justice, he built a splendid
church in the name of the All Holy Trinity at Sopochani.
But about this time there rose against him his eldest son
Dragutin, demanding that he should fulfil the promise
he had made. And when his father would not yield to
him the throne, Dragutin obtained an army from his
wife's father and made war against Urosh, joining battle
with him at a place called Gatsko, in Herzegovina,
Alas ! the son was victorious and took his father's throne
by force and shut him up in prison at Durazzo, where
he died, in the year 1282, after reigning on the Serbian
throne for thirty-five years. His body was brought back
and buried in the church of the Holy Trinity, which he
built in Sopochani. His wife Helen lived for many
years after on the land which Dragutin gave her for her
support. When she was very old she was made a nun
in Skadar, and not many days after she became very ill
and died in the Lord at her palace in Brnyatzi. The
godly fathers brought her body to the monastery at
Gradatz in the presence of the archbishop, Sava II, and
her son Milutin, who alone, with the archbishop and
some of the clergy, placed the sarcophagus in the tomb
they had made ready.
But the robber of the father's throne, who had
rendered to his father evil for good, was not blessed
with a long reign, because he had raised his hand
against his father, breaking the word of the Lord, and
had spurned that union blessed by nature and by God.
Wherefore the All Great and Just Judge of all mankind,
who rewardeth all the evil of sinful men here on earth,
took his body that He might perchance make his proud
heart somewhat less evil and bring him to repentance.
For he fell from horseback near the fortress of Jeletch
and broke his leg, -whereby he suffered great agony.
THEOPHOROS STEPHEN MILUTIN 49
This slight punishment was for him the beginning of a
sickness of heart and soul which day by day gave him
no ease, his conscience being pricked. When he under-
stood this he said in his heart, " Now do I perceive, O
my Lord, that Thou art just and that only what is just
maketh for good. I have trespassed, Lord : I pray Thee
cleanse me. I am a sinner : do Thou pardon me. I
have not followed the commandments of Thy law : for
Thou didst say, ' Whosoever doeth evil to his father or
mother must die the death.' Sinner that I am, I have
done this thing, raising my hand against my father, and
for this I perish. All that has come upon me is just."
Thus overwhelmed by the pangs of conscience and suffer-
ing always in body, he handed over the Serbian kingdom
to his brother Milutin, keeping only for himself Sirmie
and Machva, which countries he had received for dowry
with the daughter of the Hungarian king. At first he
went to live at Machva, and later he moved to Sirmie.
Some time he was obedient to King Milutin, but after-
wards his thoughts changed and he made ready once
more to take the throne of his brother. Yet, through
the prayers of Archbishop Daniel, he gave way and
made peace with his brother. But he had showed once
more his rebellious nature. Finally, when he saw that
the days of his life were numbered, he asked that he
might be made monk; his prayer being granted, he
received the name Theoktist. Not many days after he
died, on Friday in the third week of Lent, the twenty-
first day of March in the year 1317, and his body was
brought to the monastery of the great and holy martyr,
St. George, in Machva, and there buried. It was this
Dragutin who built the monastery of Racha, near the
river Drina, and his wife built the monastery of Tronasha,
on the slope of Mount Gouchevo.
Stephen Milutin Uroch II ruled as king and autocrat
50 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
from the year 1285, and took as his second wife the
daughter of the Greek Emperor Andronicus, Simonide,
who bore to him a son, Constantine. He chose Prizren
for his capital. His first war he waged with Michael
Palaeologus, who wanted to repay the insult he had
received when his daughter Anna, whom he had sent
to be the wife of Milutin yet unmarried, had been
returned to him. The godly king, forced to defend his
kingdom with the sword, offerered up this prayer before
joining battle: U O Lord, I know that Thou art quick
to show pity and rich in grace. Therefore I humbly
trust in Thee, because Thou didst help our fathers when
they hoped in Thee, and Thou didst deliver them. To
Thee they cried and Thou didst keep them. They
trusted in Thee and were not put to confusion. My
Lord Jesus look upon me, Thy sinful servant, and upon
the land which Thou hast given me ; preserve me from
those who would trouble me and let them not say in
their pride, ' We have slain them, and their memory is
utterly perished ! ' "
Strong in his hope in the Lord, he went forward with
his army and destroyed his enemies so utterly that he
took Palog, Skoplye, Ovchepole, Zlatovo, Pijachatse,
Strumnitza, Seres, Debar, Kichevo and Porach. Then
the Emperor Michael took to himself Tartars, Turks
and Franks, and came once more against the godly
Milutin, but he died suddenly before he had come to
the Serbian land. Though the mercenaries, these
Tartars, Turks and Franks, still desired to invade the
Serbian country for plunder, they were utterly destroyed
by the help of the Lord.
And a short while after there rose up against the
godly King Milutin, Shishman, a prince of the Bulgarian
king Smilatz, who lived in the town Widin on the river
Danube, and invaded with his army Hvoctno, not far
THEOPHOROS STEPHEN MILUTIN 51
distant from the Fetch patriarchate. But he was van-
quished and forced to flee away, so utterly overwhelmed
that he was disgraced. When Shishman found himself
in such straits, he humbled himself and besought the
godly King Milutin to be merciful to him. Then his
country was given back to him, and, moreover, he re-
ceived the daughter of King Milutin, Nada, to be the
wife of his son Michael, who became in time the
After these things which happened with Shishman,
Milutin found his greatest foe in Nogie, chief of the
Tartars, who now ruled by force of arms the Bulgarian
country, and was threatening war against our fatherland.
King Milutin, having no hope of overcoming this proud
pagan by the power of the sword, made a treaty with
him, and to make it sure sent as hostage his son
Stephen, who stayed some long while among the Tartars
and afterwards happily returned safe. When the
Persians came with the Turks against Rumania, plunder-
ing the Christians and causing great distress in Con-
stantinople, Milutin besought his father-in-law the
Emperor Andronicus to come and help him with his
army and to drive the barbarians from his country.
After this he made an abiding peace with the Emperor
Andronicus and with the Bulgarian kingi
So when his state lay at peace on all sides, Christ-
loving Stephen Milutin began to build churches and
monasteries with the riches which the Lord gave to him.
First he pulled down the church at Khilindar to its
foundations and built it greater and adorned it, and
made for it cells like an emperor's palace and strength-
ened it with towers against the enemy. After this he
began to help the sick. He built a church and a
hospital in Constantinople in the place called Prodrom.
And for the rooms of it he gave soft beds for the sick,
52 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
and provided both doctors and nurses. Likewise in
Jerusalem he built a church to the Spirit Powers (the
angels). In Salonika he built two churches, to St. Nicholas
and to St. George, giving them many splendid palaces.
He often sent rich alms to the monastery in Mount Sinai.
All these good deeds he did in strange lands. But in
the same way and with greater zeal he was a benefactor
to the Church of his fatherland also. Thus in Treska-
vatz he built the church of the Mother of God and gave
it gold and silver vessels ; in the country of Kuchi he gave
the church of the great and holy martyr St. George, together
with its costly vessels ; in his capital, Prizren, the church
of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God, and many
hospitals ; on the river Grachanitza the church of the
Annunciation, with six towers ; in Skoplye three churches,
to the Mother of God, to the apostolic Emperor Con-
stantine, and to the great and holy martyr St. George ;
in Rascia the church at Banyska, where the hot springs
are, to the glory and memory of the first martyr and
archdeacon St. Stephen; in Sofia the church to the
Holy Wisdom, after the manner of the church in Con-
stantinople which Justinian built, from which church
the town Shredatz received its name Sofia ; in Studenitza
the church of the holy and just Joachim and Anna : and
in Orohovitza, in the country of Dabar, the church to
the great martyr George. They say that this God-loving
king made an oath to the Lord that for every year he
remained on the throne he would build a church to the
Lord. And the All Merciful Lord granted him forty and
two years as ruler of Serbia, and he built forty and two
Now the sees of the bishops in his time were as fol-
lows : Zeta, Raschia, Hum, Hvostom, Zvechany, Top-
litza, Prizren, Budimlye, Liplanye, Skoplye, Dabar,
THEOPHOROS STEPHEN MILUTIN 53
Morava, Branitchevo, Machva, Kontule and Gradatz,
And the chief monasteries were : Studenitza, Mileshevo.
Sopochany, Banya, Gradatz, Rascia, Kontule, Hvostom,
Gostiva, Orahvitza, Nagorichany, and Skoplye. The
archbishop of this time was Sava III, and afterwards
Nikodim, who, after fasting at Holy Mountain Athos,
came back to Serbia and was called to be archbishop by
the counsel and consent of the king, and was consecrated
on the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. After his
death, Daniel, the Serbian chronicler, was archbishop.
While all things were thus ordered and the king was
engaged upon these works, dear to God and of good
service for the Church of Christ and the spiritual training
of her children, in the midst of the deep peace at home
and abroad, there came up black clouds threatening a
tempest. For the first-born son * of the saintly and godly
King Milutin, Stephen, after living long time in Zeta with
his wife, was led away by the words of the nobles who
served him and determined to demand the throne of his
father before the lawful time. When his father would
have none of this, the ungrateful son began to entice the
nobles from his father's side and to prepare for rebellion.
When King Milutin of the godly soul, to whom the peace
of the spirit was needful, saw how subtly he undermined
the throne, he called his first-born son to him and prayed
him with gentle words not to raise his hand against his
father but to wait the time which is provided by the
Lord. These good words of the father were little to the
mind of the foolish son, who being determined to abide
by the advice of his nobles, was the more enraged and
went away to prepare for war. And when it was no
longer possible to keep from civil war war between
father and son, alas ! King Milutin came with his army
1 Stephen Dechanski. Compare with this account, pp. 57~5 8 -
54 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
to Zeta against his rebel son and battle was joined and
the vanquished son fled to the farther bank of the river
Boyana. He could not escape, however, but was cap-
tured, and by order of his father was sent as a prisoner
to his father-in-law at Constantinople, the Emperor
Andronicus. The guard which took him from Skoplye
put out his eyes as they passed through Ovchepole, and
so brought him blind to the place appointed.
When this trouble was passed, Milutin, now stricken in
years and perceiving that his passage from this transitory
life drew near, gave alms to the poor, and falling ill soon
after, became weaker very rapidly in his palace of Naro-
dine. And because his sickness was unto death the
blessed and godly king prepared himself for everlasting
life, purifying his conscience by confession and repent-
ance, strengthening his soul with faith and receiving the
Holy Sacrament. With the burden on his soul thus
lightened he opened his mouth and spake to those he
loved : " My beloved children, you know that the hour
of my passing from you is near. Weep not, but praise
the Lord with me, that I may receive the lot prepared
for the holy." So died in the Lord this Christ-loving
king on the thirtieth day of October. The body of the
godly man was brought from Narodine to the church of
the holy first martyr and archdeacon Stephen at Banya,
and there, when all the rites were performed, it was
buried in a tomb in accordance with his wish.
Some of the people also say that the blessed king
desired that his body should be buried in the church at
Sofia, which is Shredatz, but his nobles would not consent
to this, so the remains were brought to Skoplye and there
buried in the church of the Falling Asleep of the Mother
of God. After three years the Lord glorified the body
of his saint with incorruption, and his son Stephen
THEOPHOROS STEPHEN MILUT1N 55
Dechanski, with the archbishops, brought the holy relics
to Shredatz and placed them in the church of Holy
Through his prayers, Lord Jesus, grant to Thy people
to live in peace, doing Thy holy will. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE SAINT AND GREAT
MARTYR, STEPHEN DECHANSKI x
FROM the life of the saintly and blessed Milutin we
know that Stephen Dechanski, the Serbian Job, was the
first-born son of Milutin and his wife Elizabeth, daughter
of the Hungarian king. He passed the years of his
youth at the court of his parents in the study of his own
language and the writings of his people and being in-
structed in the Holy Scriptures. His mind, enlarged by
study, he grew strong in the Orthodox Faith, which pre-
served his soul from terrible heresy and led him straight
towards everlasting life with Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
For no mortal man can tell what temptations the chances
of life will bring to him one day ; nor is it possible to find
a better medicine to fight against these than the doctrine
of the Spirit, Who speaks in the Word of the Lord.
Therefore the saint was zealous to strengthen his heart,
by the teachings of that Holy Spirit Who gives under-
standing to those who are obedient to Him.
The fruit of this doctrine and training soon showed
itself, for when the needs of the state required peace with
Nogyi, chief of the Tartars, and that man demanded from
King Milutin his son as hostage, the young Stephen, heir
to the throne, went willingly, though it was clear that his
way was full of danger. Being obedient, therefore, to his
father's will, he was willing to go, giving himself heart ancf
1 King of Serbia, 1321-1331.
SAINT STEPHEN DECHANSKI 57
and soul to the Lord, who looks upon His people. And
his hope was not vain; for after some years he made
friends with one of the Tartar nobles, Enirizaki, who
sent him and his companions to a place whence he
could come back safely to his father. When the king
saw him come back safe and sound, he gave thanks
to the Lord, saying: "This my son is saved from
the hands of sinners by the right hand of the Lord Most
After a short time his parents made a marriage for
him with the daughter of the Bulgarian king Smilatz,
and his father gave him as his portion a good part of the
state, namely the country of Zeta, where the first-born
and heir to the throne long time lived with his nobles.
But when, through the marriage of King Milutin to
Simonide, the son Constantine was born, Satan, quick to
do evil, began to sow discord concerning the inheritance
of the Serbian throne. Stephen, the first-born, was worthy
to come to the throne after the death of his father, but
Simonide desired this good fortune for her son Con-
stantine. This her purpose was no secret to Stephen,
for she spoke evil against him openly and hated him,
striving to anger his father against his eldest son, so that
he might refuse him the throne. Now the nobles and
the chief men were against her in this plot, for they
feared lest, when Constantine came to the throne, the
power of the Greeks should become over great in the
Serbian country. While things were in this pass they
say that the party which favoured Stephen gathered an
army together and forced him to demand the throne of
his father, for they desired to forestall the plot of the
queen. But King Milutin vanquished his son with his
army and took him as he fled, and gave orders that he be
bound and blinded with red-hot irons, and sent him to
Constantinople to be shut up in prison.
58 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
The commands of his father were carried out and
Stephen was borne away by a guard, together with his
children Dushan and Dushitzya. On the way, as they
passed over Ovchepole, he was blinded with red-hot
irons. In that same night there came to him St. Nicho-
las in a dream and said to him: "Be not afraid, for
your eyes are in my hand " ; and from that time Stephen
felt no small lightening of his sickness. When he came
to Constantinople he was received with mercy by the
Emperor Andronicus, who took him at first into the
imperial palace, giving to him all he stood in need of,
and afterwards put him in the monastery Pantokrator.
All these things, exile and imprisonment, blindness and
captivity, though very bitter, the godly Stephen endured
with patience, neither protesting nor repining, but prais-
ing the Lord who had given him such a wound. For
this his meekness and patience the Emperor Andronicus
loved him and went often to him, and was kind to him,
because he perceived in him a man of great spirit.
Now in the fifth year of his captivity it chanced that
the saint was in church on the feast of the saint and
wonder-maker Nicholas. While he sat with the rest and
listened to the reading of the life of the holy man of
God, being very weary, he fell asleep : and behold, he
saw again in a dream that godly man who had appeared
to him on the way in Ovchepole, speaking to him on
this wise: "That which was promised to thee before,
thou shalt now receive. He who sent me to thee
formerly with a promise, sends me again bearing this
message, that thou shalt soon receive thy sight once
more." By the will of the Holy Lord, so it came about
and he began to see ; yet he told no man of this mercy
of the Lord, save the Emperor Andronicus, who coun-
selled him that he should not appear with open eyes,
lest the evil should happen to him again. Wherefore
SAINT STEPHEN DECHANSKI 59
Stephen wisely kept secret this opening of his eyes until
the day when the Lord should will that he return and
be made king.
At this time the Emperor Andronicus was hard
pressed and asked help of Milutin against the Turks,
who threatened his country. To his embassy he added
the higumen of the monastery Pantokrator. When they
came to Prizren, King Milutin called this godly higumen
aside and questioned him concerning his son Stephen.
He made answer wisely and said : " O king, you ask
news of an unhappy man, a second Job. Know then
that the lowliness of his heart sets him above the glory
of men. And when you come to be of the same mind
with me, thy intercessor, in this good work, take thy son
Stephen back, who through his long suffering is made
good and is without reproach." The story goes on thus :
In the seventh year the prisoner, St. Stephen, yet bearing
his difficult lot with patience, wrote a letter to the Holy
Mountain to the godly Daniel, praying him on this
wise : " Cause thy council of most reverent fathers of
the Holy Mountain to make intercession for me to
my lord and father, beseeching him that he be not en-
raged with me always, lest I die in this strange land."
Now this reverend father, after taking counsel with
the brethren, sent to Prizren some of the godly old
men, giving them a letter for the honoured Archbishop
Nikodim concerning this matter. And in good time
these reverend fathers of the Holy Mountain came to
the godly Milutin, being brought to him by the Arch-
bishop Nikodim, and spoke softly with him. Then the
heart of Milutin was softened, and because no long
time since there had come the higumen from the monas-
tery Pantokrator in Constantinople with this prayer, and
now also these fathers brought to him the intercession
of the council for mercy and the restoration of his son,
60 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
he yielded, and said to them : " Your prayer shall be
granted. What you have asked for my son, shall be
my will also." Then they gave him thanks and went
So, after that, the godly King Milutin sent a mes-
senger to his father-in-law, the Emperor Andronicus,
asking him to release his son. At this message the
emperor rejoiced greatly, and sent away the prisoner
in peace, commanding the guard to give all honour to
the king's son.
After many days' voyage came Stephen with great joy
to the town of Prizren. When he came before his father
with his son Dushano for Dushitza had died in Con-
stantinople he knelt down with his eyes bound up and
spoke thus : " Father, I confess my sin. I do not deny
what thou knowest to be true. But I know also that
thou art merciful, and I pray thee forgive me, thy son,
and do not hate thy child." Then his father bowed
down to him and kissed him and forgave him that which
he had done for always. After this he gave to him a
part of the country of Bodimlya for his support, whither
Stephen went, leaving his son Stephen Dushan with his
It came to pass after three years that his father, the
godly King Milutin, died, and there came messengers to
Stephen both to bring the sad tidings of the death of
his father and to pray him to take the sceptre of the
kingdom. He did not believe the words of these, for
he feared some plot or crafty design. But when he
knew the truth more perfectly he came before the nobles
and the people assembled, and taking the bandage from
his eyes he said : " Beloved brothers and comrades,
hearken to me. Our Lord has had mercy upon me; for
whereas you knew me blind, behold now I see. Praise
all of you the great and merciful Lord with me." And all
SAINT STEPHEN DECHANSKI 61
the assembly, seeing with their eyes what they had heard
with their ears, bowed low before their lawful king.
When Stephen was thus raised to the throne, since he
knew that his father, Stephen Urosh, was beloved of his
people, he took for his own name also Urosh, and was
called Stephen Urosh, which good name he proved by
giving presents to the Holy Church and to the poorest
of his subjects.
But Constantine, son of King Milutin and Simonide,
plotted against the throne of his brother Stephen Urosh,
and having obtained soldiers from the neighouring
peoples, he commanded him to leave the throne, saying
that it was not meet that a blind beggar should rule the
state. Stephen then, with soldiers of his own people,
went first to Pech, the Serbian archbishop's seat; and
there the holy Nikodim came to meet him and crowned
him king of the Serbian state in the church. Thus,
crowned head of the kingdom, he went to war. When
the two armies met the holy King Stephen did not desire
to join battle forthwith, but, full of love towards his
brother and meekness of heart, he wrote a letter to
Constantine in these words : " Stephen Urosh, by the
grace of God king and heir to his father's dominions,
being firmly purposed to rule his people in the fear of
God, to his beloved brother Constantine, greetings and
joy in the Lord. Put far from thee thy desire to come
with a foreign people to make war on thine own country-
men j but let us meet one another, and thou shalt be
second in my kingdom, for the land is great enough
for me and thee to live. I am not Cain who slew his
brother, but Joseph who loved him, and in his words
I speak to thee. Fear not, for I am from the Lord-
You prepared evil for me, but the Lord has given me
good as you now see." When Constantine had read
this letter he gave orders straightway that the Serbian
62 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
army be attacked. The battle was joined and the army
of St. Stephen was victorious, and Constantine was not
only defeated but himself slain.
No sooner had he made an end of this first rebel
than a second arose, Vladislav, the first-born son of
Dragutin. He demanded the throne by right of his
father, but could not take it by force, for Stephen over-
came him, and being driven out he went to Sirmie, and
So when Stephen had set peace about his throne he
began to do works good and pleasing to God. He gave
alms to the poor, built churches, sent rich presents to
the holy monasteries in Alexandria and Mount Sinai, in
Jerusalem and Palestine, in the Holy Mountain and
Thessaly and Constantinople. Especially he sent gifts
to the monastery of Pantokrator in Constantinople,
where he had been imprisoned seven years. For as he
had obtained his freedom by the intervention of the
clergy, so, as a token of his thanks, he greatly reverenced
the bishops and priests. And because he knew that
he was debtor to the holy wonder-maker Nicholas, he
ordered a silver altar to be made, with eikons also, and
gave it to the church of that saint in Bari. Afterwards
he overcame the Hungarian and the Bulgarian kings and
the Greek emperor, who were envious of the glory of
King Stephen Urosh III, and rose against him to de-
stroy the state. So by the help of the Lord the blessed
king was victorious, and desired to repay his debt to
the Lord God by building a splendid church in the
midst of his fatherland. Wherefore he set forth with
Archbishop Daniel, who had succeeded Nikodim, to
seek a good place for this church. And they found it
on the river Bistretza in the country of Hvostom, and
himself with his own hand laid the first stone for the
SAINT STEPHEN DECHANSKI 63
foundation of the church in the name of the Lord God
Almighty and in honour of the Ascension of the Lord,
in the place called Dechany; wherefore the monastery
was called Visoki Dechany (high Dechany). When the
building was done the holy king adorned it within
with gold and silver and all the vessels it needed most
Thus labouring in the Lord and minding to live the
days of his old age in peace, he endured such a sorrow
as he never thought to come to him. In these days he
had set apart for quietness trouble came upon him, and
he received a wound more terrible than his captivity in
Constantinople, for he was utterly overwhelmed, for-
gotten of all his own, and fell from his throne in that
very moment when he thought himself secure. It grieves
the heart to hear tell of such things as came upon the
saint in his great old age through no fault of his
Now his first-born son, Stephen Dushan, won great
renown in battle against the Bulgarians and Greeks. By
the love of his father he was called the younger king
for his bravery, and he was given a country of his own.
But yielding to the counsel of the nobles who followed
him, he foolishly rose against his father to take from
him the throne and the state by force, fearing lest his
father should give it to the son of his second marriage.
So then he rebelled against him, and the godly King
Stephen took horse and fled with some few of his nobles
to the town Petrich, not far from Narodimlya. There
the soldiers of his son overtook him and surrounded
the town and made him prisoner. Stephen Dushan,
after taking counsel with his nobles, put him in prison
in the glorious town of Zvechan, where he died an
unnatural death in the year 1336. His holy body
64 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
was brought by his son Stephen Dushan to the monas-
tery of Visoki Dechany, and there it rests in peace to
this day in the church of God Almighty, to Whose care
we commit ourselves, praying peace for ourselves and
our fatherland and for our soul's salvation. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE HOLY AND BLESSED
MARTYR, TSAR UROSH
THE only son of the first Serbian tsar, Stephen
Dushan, was born in 1337, and was called in Holy
Baptism Urosh. His mother was Helen, the daughter
of John Kantakuzen, the Greek emperor. God gave
him a fine heart and soul, and he was so well pleasing
to his father, the great Dushan, that he was called while
yet a youth to be Serbian king and heir presumptive of
the tsar's throne. Tsar Stephen the Mighty, a man
ever fortunate in war and conqueror of the country of
the Greeks and Bulgarians, increased the Serbian state
from the Danube to the Sea of Marmora, from the
Adriatic to the Black Sea, and held beneath his sceptre
these lands Serbia, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Albania, Epirus,
Thessaly, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Rumania. But the
Almighty, to Whom it pertains to bestow the crown of
lands, stayed him on his glorious path, and Dushan,
who, according to the judgment of men had yet some
years to live, fell ill of a sudden of a grievous sickness
and soon after died in the year 1355.
When Urosh became tsar, by title the Fifth, he was
no more than nineteen years of [age. By his wisdom
and gentleness he gave good promise on ascending the
throne of his father, which seemed so strong. But he
must needs have vigour and strength besides the quali-
ties of a good ruler, if he was to hold in obedience
the new countries of the Serbian state, which stretched
from sea to sea. The rigour of his father, who had held
66 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
so many countries together by fear, the young tsar re-
placed with great gentleness, so that he weakened the
tsar's power, which was founded upon force of arms.
The nobles, when they buried his father, buried his
memory with him, and since there was now no one to
fear they took counsel together against the authority
of the state and that they might overthrow the godly
tsar. There were many signs of evil before he came to
the throne : a terrible famine befell the tsardom, and
many died ; in the same year also there invaded Europe
the Ottomon voievodes across the Dardanelle Straits, and
after taking for themselves the most fertile of the country
in the Greek Empire, they began to menace Serbia and
Bulgaria. Then the imperial power of Tsar Urosh, thus
already weakened, was shaken by his uncle Sinisha,
ruler of Thessaly, who obtained an army from the Greeks
and Albanians and rose in rebellion against his tsar,
demanding the throne for himself by right of seniority.
There was thus civil war. Sinisha, holding to his belief
that he had a right to the throne, invaded Zeta with the
purpose of taking Scutari, but in this he did not succeed,
and he was forced to retire. It seems, however, that
his own mother, the Tsarina Helen, was not blameless
in this matter, and urged on the civil war, hoping to take
for herself a fortified town. This we may know from
he fact that when Nikifor, the "despot angel," rose
against Urosh and took Thessaly, it was done with the
consent of the tsarina mother, who had given him her
sister to wife. The lesser rulers, meanwhile, seeing how
matters lay, strengthened their hold on their own coun-
tries, and cast off the burden of subjection.
But the most dangerous of these rulers were Vukashin,
despot of Hum, and Uglesha his brother. Vukashin
held high office and was first in the kingdom after the
tsar himself. But his pride was overweening and he
BLESSED MARTYR, TSAR UROSH 67
began to plot against the tsardom and Urosh. Those
wise nobles who were loyal subjects of Urosh found
no difficulty in discerning the secret purpose of Vuka-
shin, and early gave good counsel to the tsar to save
him from the plot of Vukashin, to wit, that he should
take from him the estates he had entrusted to him as
soon as might be so as to make him harmless. But
the crafty Vukashin, foreseeing their plans against him,
delayed not to approach the tsar himself and prepare his
mind in advance against the plan of the wise nobles. In
this way Urosh not only became the friend of Vukashin,
but made him king and held him high in his esteem.
So it came about that, either the tsar himself raised up
to be king his future murderer, or that Vukashin him-
self obtained the kingly title by a plot. From that
time all the nobles faithful to the tsar left him, and
each man thought only how to strengthen himself in his
own land. Thus in the space of ten years, during the life-
time of the Tsar Urosh, the Serbian empire was divided
into four parts, independent one of another. Urosh
himself bore only the name of tsar, for in truth the real
tsar was Vukashin.
Now against this false tsar there rose up some of the
nobles to dethrone him, or at least to take from him
some of the power. In their number was the prince
Lazar. This prince, with the help of the Hungarians,
took Machva and other parts of Serbia. Tsar Urosh de-
sired to make peace between them, but he was powerless,
and was as a voice crying in the wilderness. The un-
happy tsar, seeing himself without power, authority or sub-
jects, and having no means of support, left his throne and
went to live among some of the nobles who were friendly
disposed. Some time he lay in this condition of poverty
and misery not to be endured, save that, to the gentle
heart of this long-suffering and blameless man, it was
68 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
endurable because the Lord was his support. He found
himself a^ stranger in his own fatherland ; he, to whom
rule belonged by right, was powerless ; the giver of alms
was left himself at the mercy of his own nobles and
subjects. The hospitality of Vukashin, to whom he
came first, was full of bitterness and contempt and
caused him great misery. No longer able to endure
such things and hoping to find it somewhat easier, he
left Vukashin and came to Lazar, ruler of Machva and
Sirmie. But this change of place did not bring a change
of lot. Lazar had no love for Vukashin because he had
succeeded by his plot in deceiving the tsar when he
came to the throne, and had taken his power and
shaken and weakened the Serbian state, and then, in his
greed for power, had dethroned God's anointed, Urosh,
and changed the bearer of the crown into a slave. This
hatred of Lazar for Vukashin knew no bounds, and so
the wandering tsar fell a prey to the mercy of strangers
and often suffered insult. Wherefore he left the house
of Lazar and came back again to Vukashin. But when
by this change his miserable lot was no better but rather
grew worse, he thought to seek a refuge among the
people of Ragusa for his gentle soul, that he might
escape these insults. This his purpose was known to
Vukashin, who feared lest perchance the tsar, with the
help of the people of Ragusa, might come back and
punish him and imprison or slay him. So when he
heard that the tsar had fled he sent after him his guard
to take him again. Which thing they did, and killed
him on the second day of December, 1367. Some say
the murder was done by Vukashin himself, others say
the soldiers did it. The blessed Patriarch of Pech,
holding to the written tradition of his patriarchate, tells
us that Vukashin himself did indeed slay Tsar Urosh,
but not while he was fleeing to Ragusa, but wher\ they
BLESSED MARTYR, TSAR UROSH 69
were on a hunt, to which Vukashin took him for pastime,
in his heart hoping to find then a good time and place
to be alone with him and carry out that purpose of his,
so terrible to the Lord. So when he found time and
place and opportunity, at once he fell upon him and
raised his sinful arm, with his heavy wrought arms in his
hand, and the long-suffering wearer of the crown fell
prostrate and dead to the earth near Narodimye on the
field of Kossovo, on the twenty-ninth day of April and the
twelfth year of his reign. So ended the son of the great
tsar, and such was the death which befell him. In this
kind Vukashin repaid his debt to the tsar, son of evil
and brother of Satan that he was. And this was the
end of the glorious Nemanya dynasty which had ruled
the Serbian State for two hundred and twenty years. Our
crowned rulers came to an end in this way, because Tsar
Urosh had no child.
His body was brought and buried in the church of
the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God, near the town
Petrich. After some time this blessed sufferer began to
show forth his holiness by the miracles which were done
at his tomb. Wherefore the faithful took his uncorrupt
remains, from which came healing, and guarded them till
the coming of the Turks, at which time they brought
them to Sirmie and placed them in the monastery lazak,
which is in Frushka Gora, where they rest in peace until
this day. Through his prayers may the Lord, who
glorified this His saint, have mercy upon us. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE SAINT AND MOST BLESSED
MARTYR, TSAR LAZAR, RULER OF THE
SERBIAN LAND (1372-1389)
THIS saint and ever blessed Prince Lazar was the
son of Lazar Pribatz Grebelyanovich, a man of great
renown and high rank, who lived at the court during
the reign of the Tsar Stephen Dushan. Since his father,
owing to his high position, was engaged on manifold
affairs of state in the court of the most glorious Tsar
Stephen Dushan, there is no doubt that his son Lazar,
called by Providence to build up once more the Serbian
kingdom, lived at the court of that tsar also in his
youth, and received that training which would befit
From his youth Lazar was gentle, wise and brave,
and of a high spirit, and all these gifts of the Lord
the martyr Lazar kept throughout his troubled life.
Adorned with such good qualities the young Lazar soon
held a high position of honour. Not only did the tsar
look upon him, but he entrusted to him some service
for the state. Furthermore, he was called to be son-in-
law of the tsar, taking to wife Militza, daughter of the
great prince Vratko, of the Nemanya dynasty by the
side of Vukan, son of the first Stephen Nemanya. Thus
Lazar received the title of prince. After the unlocked
for death of Tsar Dushan, the foundations of the Serbian
state were weakened because of the greed for power
among the Serbian nobles, who demanded each one,
SAINT TSAR LAZAR 71
all for himself. And when the throne of the good and
gentle Tsar Urosh was shaken by the plots of the
crafty Vukashin, all the Serbian land fell into discord
and bloodshed and lay under the yoke of Vukashin, the
tsar murderer. Throughout this time St. Lazar grieved
in secret, and, abiding by the counsel of wise men,
waited for better times. He watched all that happened
but he did not desire to do anything for the furtherance
of the plan he had conceived, whereby those lands
which of old time had been part of Dushan's empire
might be made one Serbian state. But when, by the
judgment of God, the tsar murderer Vukashin received
his reward, after his death St. Lazar arose to carry out
his plan. He conquered many lands, especially Herze-
govina, Rascia, Serbia and the Banat, holding that he
had a right to the throne through his wife Militza,
Now when St. Lazar had become ruler in this way,
there came to him a godly old man, the priest-monk
Isaiah, from the Holy Mountain, and spoke with him
concerning the anathema by which, in the time of Tsar
Dushan, the Patriarch of Constantinople had excom-
municated all the Serbian people ; 1 and he showed to
him how they might be reconciled. This proposal was
pleasing to the tsar and he straightway took counsel
with the Serbian patriarch, at that time Sava II ; then
they sent the aged Isaiah to Constantinople to pray
the patriarch of that day, Theophanes, to remove the
anathema from all Serbians, both dead and living.
Isaiah received all that he would need, and taking with
him two of his disciples from the Holy Mountain and
1 This anathema was pronounced in 1346 by the patriarch be-
cause Tsar Dushan had proclaimed himself Tsar of all Bulgarians
and Greeks, and had at the same time appointed the Serbian
archbishop, Joannicius, patriarch.
72 LIVES OF THfe SERBIAN SAINTS
an interpreter, went to the place as they had arranged.
When the Patriarch Theophanes learnt the cause of the
coming ofl saiah, he took counsel first with the emperor
John Palaeologus and with the whole synod, and then
he removed the anathema from the tsar Stephen Dushan
and Joannicius II, the first Serbian patriarch, and all
who had died unto his time, and thus was renewed the
spiritual union within the Church of Christ. Only one
condition he made that the Serbian people should
wage war no more upon the Greeks and the countries
round about, As a token of the sincerity of his peace
and spiritual pardon, the patriarch Theophanes granted
on his own behalf and in the name of all the synod
that the archbishop of the Serbian people should bear
the title of patriarch, but should have no jurisdiction
over other countries.
When this had been accomplished in Constantinople,
the patriarch and his whole synod wrote letters con-
taining the decision of the council, and sent them by
a special embassy to Prizren, the capital of the Serbian
tsardom. These were read in church after the Holy
Liturgy, thus announcing to all the removal of the
anathema from the dead and the living. At this time
the second Serbian patriarch, Sava, died, and by order
of Tsar Lazar the synod was assembled at Pech, the
seat of the patriarchate. There they elected the godly
Ephrem, and he was placed in accordance with the
canons on the patriarch's throne. As a token of his
new dignity, he placed the crown of the tsars on the
head of Lazar, at the end of his first Holy Liturgy.
Thus he conferred upon him the authority of tsar, in
the year 1376, in the presence of the embassy from
Constantinople, which returned afterwards to its own
When Tsar Lazar had once more united the Church
SAINT TSAR LAZAR 73
and brought peace to his people, he began to do good
works : he gave alms to the poor and the sick ; he
made imperial presents to the church of the Lord ; and
he built new and splendid churches. Thus, he gave
to the hospital of Khilindar many villages for its support
and enlarged its church with a new narthex ; and in his
fatherland he built a great and splendid church by the
name of the Ascension of Our Lord, with cells like
palaces. This church was called Ravanitza and was in
the diocese of Branichevo.
But we must not fail to tell how that, after Tsar
Urosh was killed and the kingdom of the tsar murderer
Vukashin brought to an end for he was vanquished by
the Turks and slain by his servant the Turkish power
ever growing more and more in Europe, the Serbian
state was forced to pay tribute to the Turks at times
during the reign of Tsar Lazar. And though this man
who built again the Serbian Empire would have liked
to be rid of the burden which put the Serbian people
and empire to shame, it was not possible to resist the
great power of the Turks. So when Sultan Murat with
his army took the town of Nish and made ready to
conquer Serbia also, St. Lazar made a treaty, promising
to give him yearly tribute and to send him a thousand
Serbian men-at-arms. This came to pass in the year
1386. But Murat, like a wild beast seeking for prey,
when he had gone back a little from the Serbian
border, conquered the lands of their neighbours. Thus
he became a danger to the peace of Serbia, for by
these conquests he made himself her powerful neighbour.
Such a captain of savage hordes, ready to carve his way
to victory with fire and sword and ruthless violence,
it was not easy to satisfy with tribute and presents,
because for the slightest cause and at the least resist-
ance his greedy soul, craving all that was not its own,
74 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
was filled with rage. But in the year 1387 Lazar
vanquished Murat and his army on the river Sitnitsa :
the army was destroyed and Murat only saved himself
by flight. He thereupon raised a great army against
Lazar and his state in the year 1389 that he might
avenge this defeat. The messenger bearing tidings of
the misfortune which thus threatened the Serbians, came
to a state rent by discord, envy, treachery and pride
between the nobles and the leaders of the people.
Those who were on the side of Tsar Lazar were few
in number and dispirited ; nor were they all of one
mind. It is but just to say that a great number of the
nobles and voievodes summoned by St. Lazar came to
Kossovo field with their armed men. But some came
too late and some came not at all. And because of
this delay and the absence of Serbian leaders, the army
of St. Lazar was small. To this must be added the
treachery of Vulk Brankovich, the son-in-law of Lazar,
the old disunion among the leaders, and the going
forth in an ill moment of his second son-in-law Milosh
Obilich. For this man was falsely slandered by Vulk
to Lazar; and, in order to prove his faithfulness, he
left the Serbian army just before the battle and came
to the camp of the Turks. There he made his way to
the powerful Sultan Murat and like lightning took his
sword and thrust it through the body of the Sultan.
From this wound the Sultan died soon after; but the
Turks, enraged because of it, fell upon Lazar and his
army. The battle was long and bloody, and if all those
who had been summoned had come to it, and Vulk
Brankovich with his horsemen had been faithful to his
emperor and countrymen, the Turks would have been
defeated. But though the Serbians fought bravely for
Cross and freedom and were led by their tsar who
gave his own life as a sacrifice, after long fighting they
SAINT TSAR LAZAR 75
. began to weaken. They had no other forces to support
them, and, moreover, they saw their tsar fall from his
horse. He mounted another : but his army supposing
him to be fallen dead, began to save themselves by
flight ; nor did they hear the words of their leader who,
from his fresh horse, cried to them to return. So, when
misfortune came from all sides, the Turks were victors ;
and the tsar, with many of his nobles, was made
prisoner. Being brought before Murat, he and all that
were with him were beheaded and attained a blessed
release. This defeat of the Serbian Empire came to
pass in the year 1389, on the fifteenth day of June.
After the battle, when the Turks had left the field,
the body of the blessed Lazar was brought to Prishtina
and there buried in the church. Two years after the
Tsarina Militza and her son, despot George, moved his
remains to Ravanitza, a monastery he had built From
there, when the Turks came to Serbia, they were moved
to the monastery of Ravanitza in Sirmie, where they
lie in peace and without corruption to this day. The
memory of this blessed martyr is kept alive by the
Orthodox Serbians every year on the fifteenth day of
June the day of the battle and of his death.
Through his prayers grant, O Lord, that we may
come to Thy Kingdom. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE HOLY FATHER EPHREM,
PATRIARCH OF THE SERBIANS
OUR holy father Ephrem was born of a priest's family
during the reign of King Milutin. While he was yet
young, there came to him the desire for the monk's
way of life and the spiritual exercises. This was little
pleasing to his parents; for they thought only of the
growth of his body and hoped that through him they
would have many grandchildren. But Almighty God,
to Whom all desires are known, turned aside the purpose
of the parents of Ephrem and their thoughts which were
fixed only upon the things of the body, by means of
a dream which came to the young man Ephrem. By
this his fears were taken from him and a way was
opened to him which fulfilled his purpose and led him
to his goal. He set out for the place told to him in
his dream, and found there an old hermit, Basil by
name, with whom he abode, following the order of the
spiritual exercises, fasting and praying. Thus he entered
upon the path of spiritual growth and took upon him
" the angel way of life." l When his parents heard where
he was, they determined to take him away by force and
marry him. But that Providence, through whom all
good things do come, brought Ephrem to Athos, where
he lay hid far from their evil designs, passing his time
with God and worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.
1 Velika skimna, the most strict and ascetic rule in the monasti
HOLY FATHER EPHREM 77
It came to pass at this time, however, that the Turks
invaded the Holy Mountain and pillaged it. Ephrem
departed with some of his disciples and came to live
in the monastery Ibrovsky, where he became higumen.
But it was not his destiny to remain there, and he left
all and came to the great Serbian church (Pech), where
he bowed down before the holy relics of the saints of
the Lord buried in that place, kissing them and receiv-
ing the blessing of the Patriarch Joannicius. From
there he passed to the monastery of Dechany, near
which he chose for himself a desert place and there
lived as a hermit, serving God with prayer and fast.
Now it chanced that Tsar Dushan died at this time.
Straightway lawlessness broke forth and all order was
gone. Through all the country there was turmoil and
civil war, so that our hermit hardly escaped alive from
the robbers who demanded of him the treasure which
they believed he kept hidden. When the Patriarch
Sava heard tell of this, he called Ephrem to him and
took him and made ready for him a cell in a cave in
a narrow valley ; there he left the holy man, but came
at times to hold converse with him.
Not many days after, the Patriarch Sava died. Tsar
Lazar, who was now on the throne, looked upon the
excommunication of his Church with displeasure, and
because he was an honourable son of the great Church
and desired to establish peace among his faithful flock in
the Serbian land, he sent the old monk Isaiah from Athos
and the priest Nikodim to the Patriarch Theophanes
at Constantinople, to pray him to remove the anathema
and unite the two Churches with his pardon. And thus
it was brought to pass. When it was needful to make
a new Serbian patriarch the old Ephrem was elected by
the synod. For a long time he said them nay, but at
last he yielded and took upon him the position. It was
7 8 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
one which called for new strength. But he was so old
that he was forced to resign not long after ; and Spiridon
was raised up in his place. Meanwhile the godly saint,
Ephrem, retired to the Church of the Archangel
Michael, in the monastery of St. Stephen. After that
came troublous times ; the saint and martyr Tsar Lazar
was slain on Kossovo field, and the Patriarch Spiridon
died. Once again the godly old Ephrem left his desert
and was prayed to take the helm until a new patriarch
should be elected. At last, by the help of the Lord,
Stephen, son of St. Lazar and despot of Serbia, called
together the synod. It chose Daniel, and then the
godly man returned and came to his cave. There he
lived for a short while : and then there came the hour
of the passing of his soul. Sava, who had succeeded
Daniel, was a witness when the godly man gave up
his spirit to the Lord in the eighty-eighth year of his
life, on the fifteenth day of June. His body was buried
in a tomb in the great church.
Through the prayers of Thy saint, O Lord, shield
our souls and bodies from evil, keep us from disunion
in Church and in State, and make our lives to accord
with Thy commandments in the Gospels. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE SAINTLY AND JUST
STEPHEN, SERBIAN DESPOT
AFTER the days of the Serbian Tsar, Lazar Grebelyano-
vich, who received a martyr's death on the field of
Kossovo (on the fifteenth day of June in the year 1389),
his first-born son, Stephen Lazarovich, began to rule in
Serbia, not with the title autocrat, but called despot. 1
He is known among his people by the name Stephen
the Tall, and he ruled over Rascia and the countries
round about for thirty-eight years. To his own peaceful
heart he took the sorrows of his people, and he endured
with patience the misery which had fallen upon the
state. His title was Despot Stephen, by the grace of
God, Lord of all Serbia and the coastlands and the lands
along the Danube. The monument of this godly soul
remains unto this day in the monastery Rasava, which
we call Manasia. He lived for such a space as pleased
the Lord, and died on the ninth day of July in the
year 1427. And because he was without child and his
two brothers, Vulk and Lazar, had been beheaded by
order of the Sultan Musa in Philipopolis in the year
1405, he caused George Brankovich to succeed him in
the despot's position. He was the second son of Vulk
Brankovich, who was son-in-law of Tsar Lazar, having
for wife his daughter Mara, so that George was the
son of this Mara. When he had received the power
1 The title despot merely = prince, and has none of the evil
associations we have given to it.
8o LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
from the aforesaid Stephen, he chose for his capital
Smederevo, and to comfort those Serbians who lived
under the Turkish yoke, he had himself declared despot,
receiving authority from his father-in-law, John Palaeo-
logus, whose daughter Irene he had married. But when
he saw that his position as despot would be beset by
many dangers, he made ready for himself in good time
a refuge in Hungary, receiving it from the Hungarians
to whom he ceded Belgrade. While he was there, in
Hungary, setting his affairs in order, came Murat with
his army and captured Smederevo. He took prisoner
the despot's son Grgur, and imprisoned him with his
brother Stephen, first in Adrianople, and afterwards in
Cappadocia. There he put out their eyes : but their
father heard not of this cruel deed.
At this time the despot George, with his wife Irene
and his youngest son, Lazar, wandered through the
Hungarian country and the coastlands without father-
land, without money, and without a place to rest his
head, because he was everywhere pursued by the enmity
of the Turks. At last he came back to Hungary, and
when it came about that Sultan Murat desired peace
with the Hungarians, he called George to him that he
might go between them, promising that he would give
him back the Serbian despotdom and his sons. The
peace was concluded and George received his reward
and his two sons. But when he saw that the light of
their eyes was gone he wept with sorrow and scarce
When the Hungarians broke the treaty and their
plighted word, they were smitten near Varna; but
George remained in his own land. From this time for-
ward George and the Serbian lands were often in
difficulties because of Hunyadi, the leader of the
Hungarians, or because of the Turks. To secure him-
THE SAINTLY STEPHEN 81
self on the one side the despot George made a treaty
with Hunyadi : but by this means he enraged Mahmoud,
who had taken Constantinople and now came with his
army and conquered the Serbian lands and forced the
despot to set forth on his wanderings again with his
children. After this second exile from his fatherland
in the ninetieth year of his age, he sought aid from the
Hungarians, with whose help he thought to take again
his country. But this he did not bring to pass : so he
came back to his fatherland and went to live near the
Danube instead of returning to Smederevo. Not long
after he was taken prisoner by Michael Silatidy, chief
of the Hungarians, but he was ransomed and went to
Smederevo, where he died on the twenty-fourth day of
December in the year 1487. All his possessions he left
to his wife Irene and his sons Grgur, Stephen, and
Lazar. Now Irene desired her first-born, Grgur, to
receive the throne of the despot, although he was
blind. But Lazar the youngest was opposed to this
because of his blindness; and he drove him out and
killed his mother with poison. But Stephen, the middle
brother of the three, though blind, he took to himself,
The exiled Grgur came to the Sultan Mahmoud II to
seek help, but when he received it not he went to the
Holy Mountain and was made monk by the name
German, and there he died.
Now when the people heard that Lazar had slain his
mother by poison, they were so enraged against this
matricide that all hearts were turned from him and they
refused him obedience. And after this came Sultan
Mahmoud with his army, and Lazar, when he perceived
the greatness of the forces against him, either from fear
or because his conscience was troubled by the killing of
his mother, fell sick and gave up his sinful soul in the
82 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
Now we begin the history of the holy and just Stephen.
From his youth he was very gentle and God-fearing,
obedient to his parents in all things, courteous to his
brothers, and to all others meek and peace-loving. He
was wise and instructed in the Holy Scriptures while he
was yet young. On this foundation his training was
made secure and his soul was enlightened by the light
of eternal truth ; and he kept his heart pure with the
teaching of the Gospel commandments of virtue. Now
when George, his father, was treating with Sultan Murat,
that he might save the Serbian state from the Turks, and
made proposals of peace, Murat demanded, as a condi-
tion of that peace, that he should give him his daughter
Mara for wife. The unhappy father gave up his daughter,
for he chose rather to deliver his people from evil than
to save himself from the sorrow of a parent's heart.
Knowing the gentleness of his son Stephen, his father
sent him to be a guard for his sister and to comfort her
in her sadness in that strange land. And he, ever
obedient as son and as brother, went to Adrianople,
the Sultan's capital, in the year 1435, an d there lived
some long time. But the Sultan, in his lust for the
conquest of foreign lands, and blind to that justice which
is pleasing to the Lord, advanced against his wife's father
and took Smederevo and the fortress and Grgur also, the
first-born son of George, whom he carried away captive.
Owing to this calamity both brothers found themselves
in the hands of the Sultan, who kept them close in
Adrianople. And when men told the Sultan that his
prisoners were plotting against him with their father, he
sent them to Cappadocia, and soon after, to prevent any
further designs with their father against himself, he
ordered that they should be made blind. Thus our
godly Stephen, free from all evil and for no fault of his,
received this terrible punishment. Yet his faith in the
THE SAINTLY STEPHEN 83
Lord and His good Providence never failed, but he bore
his misfortune with a strong heart, comforted by his clear
conscience. After some time when peace was made
between the Hungarians and Sultan Murat through the
labours of despot George, Stephen returned with his
brother to his fatherland. After the death of his father
and the driving out of his elder brother Grgur through
the act of his younger brother Lazar, and when his
mother had been poisoned by that same son and this
Lazar was himself dead, Stephen heard that the Turks,
ever increasing in power, had burned the splendid
monastery of Mileshevo. Moreover he perceived that
they were making ready to destroy all the noble monu-
ments of the godly Serbian kings and tsars ; wherefore
he determined for righteousness and his people's sake, to
appear before his subjects as Serbian despot. This he
did with the help of some of the nobles in the year 1461 .
But this was not pleasing to many of the people, who
chose rather to be obedient to the Turks than to their
own despot. Therefore they were angry because he did
this, and they showed their hatred not only by dethron-
ing him but by sending him bound as a prisoner far from
his fatherland, into Dalmatia. After some time he was
delivered from his bonds and imprisonment and all the
troubles that had come upon him, and he went back to
his fatherland. He hoped that his people would atone
for their former insults by well doing ; but his return was
in vain, for he saw again the malice of his subjects.
Smederevo was taken once more by the Turks, and
Stephen went away, taking with him nothing but his title
of despot. When he heard tell that some of his people
had designs against his life, he hid himself now in one
place, now in another, and at last found safe refuge with
the Prince of Albania, the brave George Scanderbeg.
Here he married, taking for wife the daughter of this
84 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
prince, Angelina, a maid gifted with every virtue, known
among our people by the name Maika Angelia (Mother
Angelina). She bore to him two sons, George, who was
afterwards Archbishop Maxim, and John, who in his time
Some time after the Turks invaded the country of
Albania, bringing fear and trembling to men's hearts, as
they ever did. And because Stephen knew that the
Turks pursued after him that they might utterly destroy
the dynasty of Brankovich, he made ready in haste to go,
and passed over to the country of Italy, where he lived
some years with his wife and children. Then he fell ill
of the sickness that often had troubled him, and his last
hour came and he gave his soul to the Lord, dying in
the fifty-sixth year of his life in the year 1468. His body
was buried in this foreign land and remained there till
the year 1486, when his sons, together with their mother
Angelina, moved his remains, glorified with incorruption,
to Sirmie. There they placed them in the church of the
Holy Evangelist Luke, in the town of Kupinovo, near
the river Sava, and they healed many people who were in
evil plight. In the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord, to
Whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all
honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.
THE LIFE OF SAINT JOANNICIUS OF
THIS saint, the godly father and hermit, Joannicius,
was born in Diocletia, on the coast of the Adriatic. We
know not the names of his parents, but doubtless they
were of the Orthodox Faith and of the Serbian people.
When Joannicius was young he loved the Lord and
desert places, wherefore he left his fatherland and came
to the river Ibar, to a desolate place called Black River.
There with great severity he followed the rule of prayer.
Some of the monks then heard of him and went to him
in the desert, and were received by him. They remained
there to be instructed of him, and they came to know
the holiness and the godly life of St. Joannicius. Then
were they obedient to the saint, as to a spiritual father
and leader, with their whole heart. After a while the
godly Joannicius called upon his brothers to build a.
church and a monastery ; which thing they did with the
help of God and of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When
the rumour spread abroad concerning the holy life of
the godly Joannicius, many of the people came that they
might follow the spiritual life with him. But some of
those who came praised very greatly the holiness of the
life of the godly Joannicius and his care for the monas-
tery, so that godly man and servant of Jesus, Joannicius,
was ill pleased. Therefore he punished his spiritual
i The exact date of this saint is not known, but the mention of
the despot George Brankovich shows that he belongs to this period.
86 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
children and, commending them to the grace of the
Lord, left his monastery and went to live in the desert of
Devich, where was solitude and a spring of water, and
began once more his former spiritual exercises. We see
again the words of the Gospel in practice : " A city that
is set on a hill cannot be hid, and a candle is not to be
covered." When the great despot George heard of him
in Smederevo, he came to him with his men and be-
sought him to pray to the Lord that his daughter might
be made whole, who long time had been sick. And
because the Lord looked upon his servant and upon the
prayer of the godly Joannicius, George, giving thanks and
praise to the Lord, built a church in honour of the
Coming of the All Holy Mother of God to the Temple.
He adorned it with great splendour and by royal letters
gave to it many villages for its support. The godly
Joannicius set the monastery in order and calling the
brothers round him, took thought for their good life,
giving his own life as their example. In the fullness of
time he came to a great old age and went to the Lord.
His body was buried in the church of the monastery
three cubits deep in the ground. Through his relics
the Lord of His mercy healed many who came with
faith. Whom we also venerate and beseech that through
the prayers of His saint He will have mercy upon us and
grant us His Kingdom in the world of His saints.
THE LIFE OF THE HOLY FATHER MAXIM,
ARCHBISHOP AND SERBIAN DESPOT
THIS blessed and glorious Maxim was the first-born
son of the despot Stephen the blind and Angelina ; the
blind Stephen was the middle son of George Brankovich
of Smederevo, and Angelina was the daughter of Prince
Scanderbeg. In Holy Baptism Maxim was called
George, and his younger brother was John. Both of
them were born in a foreign land because their father
was persecuted by his own people, and was obliged in
these straits to save his life by 'coming to the Prince of
Albania, whose daughter he married. It is not known
for how long a time the saint and his brother John lived
in a foreign land, but afterwards they came with their
mother to Sirmie. And because they were the children
of the Serbian despot, they looked to receive some land
for their support. But the Serbians of Sirmie had a
despot already in the person of Vulk Brankovich, a
kinsman of Stephen the blind, so that this hope of the
unhappy sons of Stephen was vain, and they lacked all
but their title. It is said that they went to live in Kupi-
novo on the river Sava, and there waited lest haply their
fortune should change. When Vulk died, George, after-
ward called Maxim, thought to take the power of despot
because he was the first-born : but already, in the reign
of Vulk, the despot was straitened in power and land, so
that George received no more for at this time the
Hungarians ruled in Sirmie. Thus to be despot was
88 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
only to have the title and a little support for life, and
George was made monk by the higumen of the mon-
astery Monasia of Stephen the Tall. He was called
Maxim, and he gave the title of despot to his brother
John, who is known among our people as the last
Maxim lived as a monk in Kupinitza, fasting and
praying. At this time the Hungarians were in Sirmie,
and there was no bishop and but few priests. Then the
monk Maxim, zealous for the Orthodox Faith, called to
Sirmie the metropolitan of Sofia, Levit : and he came
and ordained Maxim to be priest in Kupinitza, and
afterwards made many other priests also. But because
the Turks oftentimes invaded Sirmie to plunder it, the
monk-priest Maxim, with his brother the despot John,
went a short way further into the mountains and estab-
lished themselves in Berkasovo, where John died. And
when the Turks came from Bosnia and threatened
death to the people of Slavonia and Sirmie, Maxim,
seeing their peril, went by the river Danube to Wallachia,
and took with him the bodies of his father and brother.
He came then to the lands of Rodul, the voievode of that
district, who received him gladly. Not long after the
metropolitan of Wallachia died, and Rodul, after taking
counsel with his people, raised up Maxim to the empty
throne, honouring in him the despot's dynasty. It came
to pass after this that the voievode of Moldavia, Bogdan,
made ready for war against the voievode Rodul. But
Archbishop Maxim took on himself the labour of uniting
them again, and changed bloodshed into peace, and
brought back the two voievodes to love and concord.
Then this Bogdan, who had made peace, gave to the
archbishop a staff wrought of silver.
After the death of Rodul, Mina came to the throne,
an evil man who loved the Turks better than the Chris-
HOLY FATHER MAXIM 89
tians. When blessed Maxim saw that he could not
remain a friend with Mina, and that Mina was against
him because he was a Serbian and of the despot's dyn-
asty and archbishop in Wallachia, he was afraid not
indeed that he would lose his diocese, but that he would
lose his life. Therefore he waited only for a fit time to
escape. Now Maxim, by the advice of his nobles, desired
to make peace with the Hungarian king, and looked about
him to see who could be sent to do this work aright.
When he heard that, through the intercession of blessed
Maxim, Rodul had made peace with that king, he sent
Maxim to make peace with the Hungarian king. Maxim
rejoiced greatly because of this opportunity, and when
he had brought to a good end the mission with which he
had been charged at Buda Peste, he returned not to
Wallachia, but sent the king's letters and established
himself with his kinsman Yakshich in Sirmie. And here
he chose out the place called Krushedol, and laid the
foundations of the monastery of that name. But Mina
had now left the Orthodox Faith and become a Moham-
medan. And the people of Krayova with their nobles
set up the young man Nagul, of Bessarabia, to be voievode
over them, with this one counsel, that he should call
back Maxim to take once more his former dignity.
Nagul consented and recalled the holy man. Now the
nobles, knowing that Maxim had a cousin, a girl, Militza
by name, worthy to be the wife of their young voievode
prayed the archbishop to bring her with him. When he
heard these things the blessed Maxim came in haste,
that he might not leave the throne empty, and gladly
brought the girl with him. She married the voievode
Nagul, and Maxim ascended the archbishop's throne.
And because he desired to mark his new dignity, he
built two monasteries in this country, and so, by these
buildings, repaid the. people for making him archbishop.
9 o LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
But he longed with all his heart and soul to pass the
last days of his life in the monastery of Krushedol. And
the voievode gave him leave and rich alms also, that
he might make an end of the building which was only
begun. So he consecrated a new metropolitan for the
people of Wallachia, returned safely to his fatherland,
finished what was not yet done in his monastery, strength-
ened the brothers in virtue, purified his soul with peni-
tence, and went to eternal life on the eighteenth day of
January in the year I560. 1 His body, glorified by the
miracle of incorruption, was placed with that of his
brother John and their father Stephen, and buried in
the church of the Annunciation in front of the altar.
In the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord, to Whom be
glory as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall
1 This date can hardly be correct in view of the dates given for
the death of his father (p. 84) and younger brother (p. 95).
THE LIFE OF OUR MOTHER, SAINT ANGE-
LINA, DESPOTITZA OF THE SERBIANS
THIS holy saint, Angelina, was the daughter of the
godly Orthodox Prince of Albania, the brave Scander-
beg. At this time Albania was called Scanderia, and
the people were Christians, and the most part Orthodox,
for till those days they were not subject to the Turkish
power, and their fatherland was made glorious by their
victories in battle for the faith. At the court of the
prince who ruled this people the maid Angelina grew
up, increasing in the gifts of the Spirit by the help of
the Lord God, and her will made strong by the teaching
of Christ. The name of her mother is not known, but
we can see how she was brought up and how great care
her parents gave to the training of her soul in the spirit
of the Gospel teaching and who but her mother would
have given so much thought to the growth towards God
of her heart and soul ? We can see here the finger of
the Lord God in His forethought, electing and setting
apart Angelina to be the lifelong companion of Stephen, 1
the Serbian despot, who was an exile through no fault of
his own, a victim of evil, and, through the hatred of the
divided Serbian people, was forced to seek a sure refuge
where he might. So the will of the Lord was done,
and God kept the fugitives safe ; indeed, Prince Scan-
derbeg received the Serbian despot, Stephen, when he
1 Vide supra the Life of St. Stephen, Serbian despot.
92 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
came to him, like a friend, a kinsman, a brother. He
was neither proud, nor did he blame him. And because
his exile with this prince was long, so that he became as
an inmate of the house, by the help of the Lord it was
not strange that these two hearts came very close to-
gether, and for their perfect union there was only needed
the blessing of the Church. So, when the parents,
despite his blindness, gave their consent to this marriage
between their daughter and Stephen, and when Angelina
agreed to share the lot of the young despot, who was
not only without country but also without eyes, there
followed the rites of the blessing of the Church.
Some time after there were born from this marriage
two sons, George and John. It was when these had
come to man's estate and had been trained in the godly
virtues and all things needful, that the misfortunes of
their father began again those misfortunes which were
not to end with the father. The Turks invaded this
land of faithful Christians, showing no mercy to age or
sex. Wherefore Stephen, with his wife Angelina and his
two sons, fled to Italy, where he lived till the day of his
death. From which town he set out for Italy Alessio
or Durazzo is not known, nor is it known to which he
went when he came there. Moreover we cannot tell the
place where he lived, the day of his death, or where his
tomb was. It must suffice us to know for our peace of
mind that the godly Angelina, now a widow, was a
Serbian despotitza and very poor. She prayed the Hun-
garian ruler to help her, that the lot of her sons might
be made more easy, and he showed mercy to them in
their poverty and gave them the town of Kupinovo in
Sirmie. So she came from Italy with the uncorrupt
body of her husband, which she placed in Kupinovo.
When Almighty God had established her where she
might use her gifts, He set her sons also in high posi-
SAINT ANGELINA 93
tions where they could be of service. The first-born,
George, gave his title of despot to his younger brother
John and was made monk, receiving the name Maxim.
Afterwards he was called to be archbishop, and built the
monastery Krushedol. The younger brother John was
married, but he had no children ; and after a short time
he died, and his pure soul went to the Lord. With him
ended the Serbian despots on the left bank of the river
Both these sons died during the life of their mother.
Stricken in years, and having drunk the cup of sorrow to
the dregs, she took upon her " the angel way of life,"
and followed the rule of prayer as a nun for the salvation
of her soul. When her time came she died quietly in
the Lord, and was buried in one tomb with her sons in
the church of the monastery of Krushedol, in Frushka
Gora, where to this day there is a service every year in
In the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord, to Whom with
the Father and the Holy Ghost be all power and glory
for ever and ever. Amen.
THE LIFE OF SAINT JOHN, DESPOT
THIS holy man and servant of God was the son of
Stephen and Angelina. This Stephen was the middle
son of the despot, George Brankovich of Smederevo.
The misery which fell upon the house of his parents,
led John, who was gentle of heart, to follow the life of
prayer while he was yet young. Because he was inspired
by the great doctrines of the Orthodox Faith he bore all
things patiently. He never doubted the faith of his
fathers, though some sought to lead him away, nor was
he troubled in heart by the constant changes from place to
place in strange lands. At last he came with his mother
and brother to Kupinovo, in Sirmie, where was the
despot Vulk Brankovich, and there he lived some while.
When the despot Vulk died the Bulgarians, who ruled
the country as far as the river Sava, were not willing that
Serbian despots should continue any longer in Sirmie.
None the less the title of despot remained in the person
of George, the elder brother of John. But when George,
who was not married, desired the life of a monk rather
than the life in the world, and was made monk with the
name of Maxim, the title of despot fell to his younger
brother John ; and because Sirmie was Serbian country
he had some authority that he might rule the soldiers
who were given as cavalry to help Vladislav, the Hungarian
John, despot, married Helen, daughter of Stephen
Yakshich, a kinsman of Dimitri Yakshich, who was the
SAINT JOHN 95
son-in-law of despot Lazar, son of George Brankovich.
This wife bore John only one daughter, Maria, who
married Ferdinand Frankopan, Count of Croatia, and
from this marriage were born Stephan Frankopan and
Katherine. Stephen became Zhupan of Modruzia, and
Katherine married Nicholas Zrinski, Ban l of Croatia.
At this time the Turks made many invasions into
Sirmie, so that despot John moved to Berkasovo, a little
way from the border. There he lived a life pleasing to
God, and died on the tenth day of December in the
year 1503. With him ended the dynasty of Serbian
despots, for he was the last of his line. His life was
full of good works, though it has been handed down
that he had few possessions himself. But all that he
did proceeded from the goodness of his heart, and the
Lord looked upon his good will and manifold deeds, so
that His grace appeared upon his relics and made them
healing. When Archbishop Maxim died the relics of
their father were brought to Krushedol in Sirmie, and
there, with the bodies of Maxim and John, they were
placed in the church in front of the altar.
Through his prayers, O Lord most merciful, make
our way straight, that we may live worthily and render a
good account to Thee in the day of the Last Judgment.
1 Ban = governor.
THE LIFE OF THE HOLY AND JUST
THIS holy and just Stephen was born of Orthodox
and godly parents in the district called in our day
Pashtrovich, in Hum, near to the sea, during the reign
of the great Doge of Venice. While he was still young
he loved the Lord greatly and purposed to direct the
way of his soul towards Him. When he came to man's
estate he was zealous to fulfil in his life the will of the
Lord, which he learnt from the Holy Scriptures. He
was very skilled in all military knowledge, wise and
brave. He placed himself under the Serbian despot of
those days, whom he served faithfully, in accordance
with the words of the Apostle, " Servants, be obedient to
your masters according to the flesh, for that is pleasing
unto the Lord " ; and again, " That servant who doeth
the will of the Lord is called to be the steward of all
things." By serving his earthly lord, he served his
heavenly Master; by warring against the Turks, he
became a soldier of the army of heaven; indeed, he
was a terror to his enemies, but more terrible still to the
powers of evil, and as he was victor over the Turks, so
also he thrust down all wicked thoughts and rooted up
temptation from his God-loving conscience, having the
fear of the Lord always before his soul, like the prophets.
By the fear of the Lord all evil is dispersed, and the
fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and this
saving fear was to him as an army on which he trusted
STEPHEN SHILANOVICH, 97
more than on his sword and his other weapons of war.
So trusty a servant the despot desired to reward, and he
gave to him a part of the Serbian country, the most
fertile in all Sirmie. To this place he came and chose
for his home a place of humble standing, but no longer
humble when the saint lived in it, for then it seemed
more glorious than the cities of the tsars a house like
the house of Job. For Job, say the Holy Scriptures,
" was perfect and upright and eschewed evil." So also
we may say of Stephen, for he was a man perfect and
thinking only what was upright. His thoughts were
righteous not only before God but before men. He
was pure and free from guile, always doing good works,
giving alms, living uprightly, with prayer, firm in the
Orthodox Faith and in love unfeigned for his neighbours.
When he exercised authority he was clothed in justice ;
pride never visited his mind and heart, but he ruled
always in the fear of the Lord.
Now a terrible famine fell upon his land, not because
it was not fertile, or because of floods or droughts, but
because of the invasions of the thrice-accursed Turks,
that godless people. For the war continued many years,
and they pillaged all the country side, taking all the
oxen and cattle, so that the people could not plough the
fields. At such a time the godly living Stephen, sorrow-
ing for his people in such a plight from the famine,
opened all his granaries and gave to all men the grain
without payment. Thus he saved them without receiv-
ing one mite in return ; for he was mindful how Dives
called to Abraham when he was in the fire of hell,
and the five virgins against whom the door was shut, and
that Just Judge who will say, " I was an hungered and
ye gave Me no meat," and he looked only for the reward
of the Lord in everlasting life.
When this year of famine was past and still he could
98 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
not bring the war to an end or stem the tide of invasion
and pillage, the saintly and just Stephen could no longer
bear to look upon the cruelties of the Turks in the
Serbian country, all deserted and plundered. So he
left his home and went to the Hungarian king, not
because he was in fear but because his one faithful
people could not fight single-handed against an enemy
whose power was ever increasing and whose oppression
was beyond measure. The Hungarian king received
him gladly because of his bravery, or perchance for his
wisdom and virtue, and gave into his keeping more
villages and towns on the left bank of the Drava than
he had before. He established himself in one of the
towns which the king had given to him, and continued
to live as in former days, abounding in firm faith and
works of love towards his neighbour. So lived he many
years till at last he exchanged this transitory for the
eternal life, and his soul departed to that place he fcad
so greatly longed for from his youth up. His honoured
body was buried by his wife Helen with all the rites of
the Church in a place of great beauty a little way from
the town. She gave also a great part of his possessions
to his servants, letting them go where they would, while
she herself, in fear of Turkish attacks, departed to
Not long after the Turks invaded that country where
St. Stephen had lived and died ; and they took that town
and remained there in great multitudes. While the
Turkish army was ruling this country as though it was
their own, one night, when all the land lay in silence,
there appeared by the providence of the Lord shining
rays of light on the place where the body of St. Stephen
was buried. When they saw this sign, the Turks came
to that spot in fear and began to dig, looking to find
some treasure. But soon they saw that their hopes were
STEPHEN SHILANOVICH 99
vain, for they found only in the tomb the body, lying
uncorrupt in its death clothes, from which issued a sweet
smell. Greatly amazed at that which they had seen and
found, and knowing not what to do, or the race and
name of the dead, they called some of the faithful who
stood by. But these made answer that they knew
nothing. The soldiers then told their emir concerning
these things, and he came to the tomb in wonder and
asked them who had been buried there. Then some
who knew this thing made answer, " None other than a
voievode who lived in this town, Serbian born and
Stephen by name." When the emir learnt this, he
perceived that Stephen was akin to him; for he also
had been born at the same place as Stephen, and had
been made prisoner and sinfully denied the Orthodox
Faith ; but now, full of love for his kinsman, he acted
honourably towards his relics and gave order that they
should be kept with all respect. When the report went
abroad through all lands, that they had found the relics
of the saint, and that some miracles had been wrought
through them by the providence of God, there came
honourable monks under the guidance of the Holy
Ghost, and besought the emir for the holy relics. The
emir, after gifts received, gave them the sarcophagus
containing the relics of this upright man. The monks,
like the man who bought the pearl of great price, took
those honoured remains with joy and went quickly to
their monastery in Frushka Gora, to the church of the
Nativity of the Mother of God, called by its founder
Shishatovatz, which is in Sirmie, where before the saint
had lived. When the' monks came to the monastery,
they took from the cart the sarcophagus with its relics,
and singing psalms and hymns, they laid them in a place
set apart in the church, where they rest till this day for
the faithful to kiss them.
ioo LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
Now his wife Helen heard tell that men had found
the body of the just and saintly man and brought it to
the monastery Shishatovatz. And she had great longing
to see with her eyes that which she had been told, for
all that she was so far away in German country. But
the rulers of that land set themselves against her desire
and counselled her that she should not go again into
that country taken by the Turks. Yet when she made
known to them how greatly she yearned to go, recking
little of the peril from the Turks and what might befall
her, they gave way to her desire but forbade her to take
away her possessions. When Helen found herself in
this perplexity she gave away a great part of her posses-
sions in secret to the poor and the widows and the
prisoners, leaving for herself only so much as she could
carry with her, and privily took ship down the
Danube and so came to the monastery Shishatovatz in
safety. Thus she came to the body of her husband ;
and weeping she kissed him on the brow and said,
" Blesstd art thou, Stephen ; my good will be with thee.
Do thou remember me who would speak with thee in
time past of holy things, that I too may receive some
portion of that which thou hast in the Lord."
No long time after she laid aside her lay clothes and
a lock was shorn from her head, and for the name Helen
she received that of Nun Elizabeth. Then she went into
a desert place three days' journery from the monastery
on the far side of Frushka Gora, by the river Danube.
All that she brought with her from the German land,
together with the 'book of St. Stephen, wherein were
written the Psalms of David and some of the canons,
very finely bound together, she gave to the monastery.
And when she had lived three years in prayer and fast-
ing, she died and was brought to the monastery and
there buried in the narthex on the left hand. The body
STEPHEN SHILANOVICH loi
of St. Stephen lies in the middle of the church, where
the singers are, and every day it is exposed to the faith-
ful, but especially on the day of his memorial, when
many of the Orthodox come here.
Through his prayers may Jesus Christ Our Lord give
us strength for repentance and forgive us our sins.
:' u .
THE LIFE OF SAINT BASIL 1
TRADITION has it that this new hierarch, of the same
name as the great Basil of Cappadocia, was born in
Herzegovina in the village of Popovo, of godly parents
whose names are not known. He grew up in the house
of his parents and s.uffered grievous things from the
evil Turks who ruled that country by force of arms and
persecuted the Church of God for our sins. This saint,
taught by his parents, grew in the Spirit of the Lord.
From his youth he loved the Church of God, increased
in virtue and lived the life of the pure and life-giving
Spirit. When he came to man's estate this blessed
young man gave no thought to the vanities of this
sinful world, but chose to go to the house of the
Lord rather than to walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
Wherefore he left the house of his parents and came to
the monastery of Trebinza, where is the church of the
Falling Asleep of the All Holy Mother of God ; there
he was made monk and followed " the angel way of life."
But alas ! for our sins this monastery was destroyed by
the thrice accursed Turks. Ah ! we must needs weep
for our holy places where dwelt the monks like angels,
following the holy Orthodox life of the Spirit, but now
sacrilegiously overthrown by the evil Turks. These
destroyed the havens of our ancient love of God and
multiplied our tears, for we lay at the mercy of our
enemies. Oh ! Thou Son and Word of the Lord, unite
1 The date of this life is uncertain. He was a Montenegrin saint.
SAINT BASIL 103
us all into one, as we were of old time, that we may
confess Thy grace and praise Thy most Holy Name,
through the prayers of Thy Holy Mother.
The All Merciful God, seeing the good-will of Basil's
heart and his pure life adorned with virtue, did not
purpose to hide this candle under a bushel but to set
it in a high place to give light to all, and to give him
the high office of bishop, when he had passed through
all the needful steps. So the saint became shepherd
of the faithful in Zahumlia and Scanderia. In this high
calling of the Lord the blessed Basil multiplied his zeal
for the benefit of the Orthodox Church. Who can tell
his praises and prayers, his deep sighings of the heart,
his petitions offered up with tears? The saint longed
to shepherd this flock entrusted to him after God's own
way, and to lead them unchecked along the road of
salvation. And the Lord furthered his teaching with
manifold miracles, so that all marvelled at this glory of
the saints, Basil the newly manifest, who comforted his
children in sorrow and perplexity.
Now we must make known to all, far and near, who
speak evil of our Holy Orthodox Church, pure Bride
of Christ, how that the Lord visited us in His saints,
so that they must shut their mouths who speak so
many things and so often. These our foes must know
that to-day the Church bears saints of God and is
adorned with glorious martyrs under the hard and
grievous yoke of the Turks, even as it was in old time
during the cruelty of the persecutions under the Roman
Empire. Let us call to mind the martyr of Beret in
Albania, who suffered fearful martyrdom for the faith
from the cruel Turks. These have persecuted the Chris-
tians on all sides, multiplied the number of the martyrs,
through whom the faith in the hearts of the orthodox
was strengthened, as it was through the relics of
104 LIVES OF THE SERBIAN SAINTS
holy Basil, owing to their miracles. But behold the
sinful lust and terrible envy of those who are of the
Pope's heresy : hating the truth they blaspheme holiness
and defile their tongues with evil words proceeding from
their hearts, hateful to the Lord : yea, they slander the
saints of the Lord, who are the life of the Holy Ghost.
Oh, the devilish blindness which destroyed the Church !
Why received they the pieces of silver like Judas and
betrayed the Bride of Christ, persecuting the holy
Church with the enemies of Christ. These Papists,
who cut themselves off from the holy Church and,
despite the miracles, would not perceive the signs of
Heaven, may the Lord give them hearts desirous of
truth, so that they may return with love to their mother
the Orthodox Church, which is of the East ! We await
their conversion, desiring for them that they leave the
darkness of the Western heresies and cease from attack-
ing with the vile and poisonous bite of the serpent the
faithful children of the Lord, destroying the womb of
their mother. After confession of the true dogmas let
them come to us and take their place in the Church
of our God, with heart and soul confessing the Trinity
in Unity and Unity in Trinity, in that form in which
it has been written by the God-fearing Fathers in the
Nicene-Constantinople Creed, which speaks so firmly
against their heterodoxy. If they so came to us they
would rejoice the hearts of their teachers of the West,
Augustine, Jerome, Gregory and many others who taught
and believed as we believe to-day by the grace of God.
But to return to our history of St. Basil. This newly
manifest worker of miracles was long-suffering with all
who troubled him, gentle and patient, forgiving those
who did evil to him, merciful to the poor and the
stranger, brave in the defence of his flock against the
wolf. By journeys to the Holy Mountain he rejoiced
SAINT BASIL 105
his heart and enriched it with the wisdom of the monks,
like the old saints of the Serbian country, Sava and
Simeon : and the Lord did not desert his flock, but
gave them back their holy shepherd, and gave rest to
his body in the land of his labours, so that after his
death also his body, still uncorrupt, healed the sick
and guarded the Orthodoxy which he served so gloriously
during his life.
St. Basil lies in peace at Ostrog, where he is made
glorious of the Lord by many wonders and the healing
of all who come to the tomb and his relics with faith
and love. As in his life he was merciful to the weak
and ill in body or spirit, so after his death is he merciful
and helps not only the faithful but also the sinful-
hearted Mussulmans who come to him seeking aid and
the healing of their sick and those who are possessed.
Through the prayers of the newly manifest Basil,
may the Lord, Who glorified His saint, give power and
might to all of us, that we may walk in his footsteps,
keeping the commandments of the Lord and preserving
the Orthodox Faith undefiled, that we may die in
uprightness, delivered from our sins, saved from the
everlasting pains and granted the heavenly reward.
Angel way of life the most ascetic of the rules for the monastic
life in the East.
Archimandrite a dignitary of the Orthodox monastic orders ;
below a bishop.
Autocrat a ruler of an independent state who has no overlord.
Ban a military governor, acting as representative of the king.
Banat the territory ruled by a ban.
Dachila the title of the governors appointed by the Turks to rule
Despot lord, the title of the last Serbian rulers. It does not
exclude the existence of an overlord.
Despotitza the title of a widow of a despot.
Ecclesiarch an official in an Orthodox monastery mainly respon-
sible for the services.
Eikon a sacred picture of Our Lord or a saint.
Higumen the head of a monastery.
Holy Mountain always refers to Mount Athos and its monasteries.
Lavra a monastery founded by a king.
Prvovenchani first crowned.
Voievodc a petty chieftain, baron.
ANGELINA, ST., marries St.
Stephen, despot, 84; life
Archbishopric of Serbia, founded,
23, 24 ; recognized as
patriarchate, 71, 72
Athos, Holy Mountain of, 8 ; life
of St. Sava at, 12 ff. ; letter
from the monks on behalf
of Stephen Dechanski, 59 ;
St. Ephrem at, 76; St.
Basil at, 104
Arseni, St., archbishop of
Serbia, 28; life of, 31-36
Basil, St., bishop of Zahumlia,
life of, 102-105
Bulgarians, attack St. Vladimir,
1-4; St. Sava and Strez,
king of, 21, 22 ; try to keep
the relics of St. Sava, 29,
34 ; war against King Milu-
Daniel, archbishop of Serbia
and chronicler, 46, 53, 59,
Dechanski, St. Stephen, birth,
47 ; rebellion against his
father Milutin, 53, 54, 57,
58 ; captivity in Constanti-
nople, 58-60; succeeds to
the throne and builds De-
Ephrem, St., made patriarch of
Serbia, 72 ; life of, 76-78
Frankopan, Count of Croatia,
Frushka Gora, monastery of,
69; burial of St. Angelina
at, 93 ; relics of St. Ste-
phen Shilanovich brought
Greek Emperors at Constanti-
Andronicus, attacks Stephen
Theodore Laska, allows re-
building of Khilindar, 16 ;
and founding of Serbian
Michael Palaeologus, 47, 50,
John Palseologus, 72, 80
Hungarians, attack of prevented
by St. Sava, 26, 32 ; war
with Turks, 80
Hunyadi, king of Hungarians,
Toannicius, St., of Devich, 95,
John, St., son of despot Ste-
phen, birth, 84 ; life, 94,
John Vladimir, St., Serbian
Khilindar, monastery of, rebuilt
by St. Simeon and St. Sava,
8, 1 6, 17 ; rebuilt by
Milutin, 51 ; benefactions
Kingdom of Serbia, founded by
St. Sava, 25, 26
Kossovo, battle of, 74
Lazar, St., Tsar of Serbia, leads
revolt against Vukashin,
67; reigns as tsar, 70-73 >'
death at Kossovo, 74
Maxim, St. (George, son of
despot Stephen, 84), life,
Milutin, St. Stephen Urosh,
Sava, St., birth, 12; flight
to Mount Athos, 13 ff. ;
rebuilds Khilindar, 16 ;
miracle at the death of his
father, 10, 19, 20 ; made
archimandrite, 19 ; protects
Serbia from Bulgarians, 21 ;
becomes archbishop, 23 ;
crowns his brother king,
25; journey to the Holy
Land, 27 ; death, 29
Sava the Blessed, 28
Scanderbeg, prince of Albania,
. 8 3> ?i
Shilanovich, St. Stephen, 96-
Simeon, St. (Stephen Nemanya),
ruler of Rascia, 6 ; founds
the state of Serbia, 7 ;
abdicates and becomes
monk, 8 ; death and
miracle of his relics, 10,
Simon Prvovenchani, St. (Ste-
phen, son of Stephen
Nemanya), succeeds his
father as zhupan, 37 ; aids
the building of Khilindar,
J 7> 38 ; overcomes the
Bulgarians, 21, 40 ; is made
king, 24-26, 41 ; falls sick
and becomes a monk, 27,
42 ; death, 42
Stephen Dushan, Tsar of Serbia,
rebels against his father,
63 ; his conquests and
Stephen, St., despot of Serbia,
Strez, prince of Bulgaria,
attacks the Serbians, 21,
40; his strange death, 22,
Tartars, 56, 57
Turks, 66, 73, 77, 80, 88, 97
Urosh, St., Tsar of Serbia, 65-
Zicha, church of, founded by
St. Sava, 21 ; seat of
Serbian archbishopric, 25,
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