February 8, 2018

Saint Sava II, Archbishop of Serbia (+ 1271)

St. Sava II of Serbia (Feast Day - February 8)

Born Predislav Nemanjic, the son of the Holy King Stefan Prvovencani the First-Crowned (Sept. 24) of the Nemanjić dynasty and his Roman Byzantine wife Eudokia Angelina. He had three brothers, Stefan Radoslav and Stefan Vladislav and Stefan Uros I, and a sister, Komnena. He was also the nephew of Saint Sava I, the first Archbishop of Serbia (Jan. 14).

Predislav took the monastic name of Sava, after his uncle, Saint Sava I, while at the Monastery of Hilandari at the Holy Mountain. Saint Sava II distinguished himself in monastic life by his ascetic practices, in imitation of his sainted uncle. He then traveled for pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return from Jerusalem, he passed through Syria, took a small mulberry seedling and planted it in the yard of the Patriarchate of Pec.

King Stefan the First-Crowned, who had become ill, took monastic vows and died in 1227. Radoslav who was the eldest son succeeded as King, crowned at Zica by Archbishop Sava, his uncle. The younger sons, Vladislav and Uros I, received appanages. Sava II (Predislav) was appointed Bishop of Hum shortly thereafter, later serving as Archbishop of Serbia (1263-1271). The Church and State was thus dominated by the same family and the ties between the two as well as the family's role within the Church continued.

He succeeded Saint Arsenius (Oct. 28) as the third Archbishop of Serbia in 1266, guiding the Church with great love and dedication until his repose, variously dated as 1268, 1269 and 1271. His holy relics are at Pec, the site of the ancient Serbian Patriarchate.