Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saint Sava

Nebojša Đuranović. Saint Sava as srb archbishop. 1995. Belgrade.
Rastko Nemanjić *1175 was the first archbishop of the church in Srbija. His brother Stefan was the first king. Their father, Stefan Nemanja, began the royal lineage.

As a youth he went off to Mount Athos and became the monk Sava. In time, his father joined him as the monk, Simeon. Both are in the canon.

In 1208, Sava returned home, to bring peace to his brothers, and to begin the srb church as it separated from Ochrid. In 1219, Sava was consecrated as archbishop. After returning from Palestine, a second time, he caught pneumonia, and died at Turnovo, Bulgaria on 14 January 1235. Two years later Vladislav, the king of the srbs, took his remains to, a new monastery, in Mileševa. The casket was opened. Sava was incorrupt, and exuding the odor of sanctity.

His relics were taken from Mileševa, in 1595, and were burnt by the turks on Holy Friday. Three hundred years later, a society was started to build a cathedral, on that spot, Savinac Hill in the Vračar area in Beograd. Construction began in 1935, and was suspended on account of german and communist hostilities. Construction began, again, in 1985. To-day, the building is complete, save for interior art. Of the orthodox churches, Hagia Sophia, in Constantinople, is larger, but under control of turkish authorities for the last five and a half centuries.

Perhaps, Sava can be compared to Saint Patrick, in the esteem, sentiment and historicity his nation has for him. In the lands where people have emigrated, the irish have Patrick parish, the poles have one for either or both Stanislaus, and so on. The srbs have one for Sava, in Cleveland there are two srb parishes, both are Saint Sava.

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