Saint Sava

1175 - Jan 27, 1236

Saint Sava, 1174 – 14 January 1236, known as the Enlightener, was a Serbian prince and Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church, the founder of Serbian law, and a diplomat. Sava, born as Rastko Nemanjić, was the youngest son of Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja, and ruled the appanage of Hum briefly in 1190–92. He then left for Mount Athos, where he became a monk with the name Sava. At Athos he established the monastery of Hilandar, which became one of the most important cultural and religious centres of the Serbian people. In 1219 the Patriarchate exiled in Nicea recognized him as the first Serbian Archbishop, and in the same year he authored the oldest known constitution of Serbia, the Zakonopravilo nomocanon, thus securing full independence; both religious and political. Sava is regarded as the founder of Serbian medieval literature.
He is widely considered as one of the most important figures of Serbian history. Saint Sava is venerated by the Serbian Orthodox Church as its founder on January 27 [O.S. January 14]. Many artistic works from the Middle Ages to modern times have interpreted his career.
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