Icon of SS Sava and Stephan Nemanja – S168


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St. Stephan Nemanja (a.d. 1114-1199) was the founder of the Nemanja Dynasty in Serbia and ruled from a.d. 1166 to 1199.   He was a pious king and a good ruler, unifying his people and affirming the Orthodox Christian Faith in his kingdom, building monasteries and churches in his time of rule.  He had three sons, Tihomir, Sava, and Rastko.  St. Sava, born in a.d. 1169, was his most beloved.  When still a young man, St. Sava left his homeland and went to become a monk on Mount Athos.  After some time, his father, St. Stephan, also left the cares of this world and went to join his beloved son in ascetic struggle on Mount Athos, getting the name Simeon in monastic tonsure.

Together they financed and built the Monastery of Hilandar, along with helping many other monasteries there.  St. Stephan, the simple monk, died in his son’s arms in 1199.  St. Sava was then called to return to Serbia and become the first Archbishop of Serbia, gaining jurisdictional independence for the Church in his country.  He was a great peacemaker, and many nations loved him.  He died and went to Christ in 1236, and works miracles to this day.

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15th c.


National Museum, Belgrade, Serbia


Egg Tempera