July 30, 2018

Saint Angelina of Serbia (+ 1520)

St. Angelina of Serbia (Feast Day - July 30)

Saint Angelina was the sixth daughter of the Albanian nobleman Gjergj Arianiti (1383–1462). Her mother’s name is not known, but she raised her daughter in Christian piety and taught her to love God. She acquired an excellent education in her parents' home. Her love of books was revealed at an early age, as evidenced by the traces of her library at Krushedol Monastery.

Saint Stephen Brancovich (r. 1458—1459), the ruler of Serbia, had come to Albania to escape those who wished to kill him. Some time before he arrived in Albania, Stephen was unjustly blinded by the Turkish Sultan for some perceived offense. Since he was innocent, he bore his affliction with courage.

Stephen was not only Gjergj Arianiti’s guest, but he was also treated as a member of his family. Not surprisingly, Stephen and Angelina eventually fell in love. With her parents’ blessing, they were married in church in 1461. After a few years, they were blessed with two sons named George and John and a daughter named Maria.

When the children were grown, Stephen and his family were forced to flee to Italy for their safety. At that time the Turks invaded Albania and began to slaughter men, women, and even children.

Saint Stephen the Blind died in 1476, leaving Angelina a widow. In her distress, she turned to the ruler of Hungary for help. He gave them the town of Kupinovo in Syrmia.

Angelina left Italy with her sons in 1486, stopping in Serbia to bury Saint Stephen’s incorrupt body in his native land, where she also built a church dedicated to the Evangelist Luke.

The children of these pious parents also became saints. George gave up his claim to the throne in favor of his brother John, then entered a monastery and received the name Maximus. John was married, but had no sons. He died in 1503 at a young age, and many miracles took place before his holy relics.

Saint Angelina survived her husband and children. Mindful of her soul’s salvation, she entered a women’s monastery. She departed to the Lord in peace on 30 July 1520, and her body was buried in the same tomb as her sons in the Monastery of Krushedol in the Frushka Gora mountain of Syrmia.

Saint Angelina is also commemorated on December 10 with her husband Saint Stephen and her son Saint John. She wrote a hagiography known as the Hagiography of Mother Angelina.