Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Sava (1174-1237)

Saint Sava (1174-1237)

Patron saint of Serbia


Saint Sava was born a prince of Serbia. He felt called to a life outside the royal court and became a monk at Mount Athos. His father, King Stephen I, later gave up his throne and joined Sava in the monastic lifestyle. Together, they founded the monastery at Khilandrai for Serbian monks. Sava was well known for the leniency and gentleness that he used while training young monks. Even though he was very kind, he was also very effective with his training.

Sava returned home to the Serbian kingdom when a fight broke out between his brothers, Vulkan and Stephen II. When he returned to settle the dispute, he brought his fellow monks with him. They founded numerous monasteries and began to reform and educate the Serbs. Sava settled the dispute between his brothers, and through new power that was bestowed on him by Emperor Theodore II, he crowned his brother Stephen II as king. He also translated many religious books into Serbian and was named the archbishop of the Serbs. Fittingly, Saint Sava is the patron saint of Serbia. 

(Image in public domain-70)