Saint Sava of the Serbs
Jan 14, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast January 14
Sava, born in 1174, was the youngest of the three sons of Stephen I, founder of the Nemanyde dynasty, of the independent Serbian State.
At the age of seventeen he became a monk on Mount Athos, on the Greek peninsula. Abdicating the throne in 1196, his father joined him and together they established the thriving monastery of Khilandari.
Sava returned to Serbia in the year 1207 to help settle an inheritance dispute between his two brothers.
As his brother Stephen took the throne, Sava set to work to revamp the Faith in his country, which had become lax and mixed up with paganism.
With the help of missionary monks from Khilandari, he established several important monasteries in Serbia. He also convinced the Eastern Emperor Theodore II, a relative, to establish Serbia’s own bishopric in order that its clergy might be better managed. The emperor established the prince-monk Sava as Serbia’s first Metropolitan of the new hierarchy.
Under Sava, his brother Stephen II was duly recognized by the Holy See and although he had already been crowned by a papal legate in 1217, he was again crowned by his brother the Archbishop in 1222 with a crown sent by Pope Honorius III.
Thus, the retiring young prince, who left home to become a monk, succeeded before the age of fifty in consolidating, both civilly and religiously, the country founded by his father.
St. Sava died with a smile on his face on January 14, 1237 and is the patron saint of Serbia.