SAINT KING MILUTIN SAVED ORTHODOXY FROM
THOSE SEEKING UNION WITH THE POPE
Serbian Saint King Milutin
SAVED THE ORTHODOX PEOPLE
FROM THE POPE- UNIATISM
St. Milutin defeated Constantinople Emperor Michael Palaologus
Roman Catholic troops slaughter Athos monks.
Emperor of Constantinople Michael Palaologus who accepted union with the Pope, and was putting extreme pressure on all Balkan churches and the monks of Mt. Athos to unite with the Pope of Rome. Saint Milutin completely stopped the nefarious plans of the Emperor. He was a beloved Saint of God defending His holy Church. He promised God that he would build a church for every year of his reign, which was forty two years and he built them forty two of them. When he left this world his relics remained incorrupt.
Uniatism is a great danger in our times, for the Orthodox leaders are still looking up to the Pope of Rome seeking unity, not the Pope with Orthodoxy, but union of Orthodoxy under the Pope.
St. Milutin wisely saw the dangers and waged successful wars against Orthodox submission to the Pope.
When the Emperor Michael Paleologos contracted the ill-famed Union of Lyons with the Pope to receive his help against the Bulgars and Serbs, the monks of the Holy Mountain sent the emperor a protest against this union, and urged him to set it aside and return to orthodoxy. During these very trying times for the Holy Mountain, there lived a monk who resided near the Zografou Monastery and would try ascetically on his own, with great labors and effort.
This monk had this holy custom of reading the Akathist Hymn many times while praying in front of this Icon of the Mother of God. One day, while he was chanting "Rejoice unwedded Bride" he heard the following words from the Icon: "Rejoice too, Elder of God!" The Elder was frightened but the voice continued calmly: "Do not fear, but rush to the Monastery and announce to the brothers and the Abbot that the enemies of myself and of my Son have drawn near. Thus, whoever is weak in the spirit let them hide in patience. The ones desiring a martyr's crown let them stay inside the Monastery; now leave quickly".
The Pope sent an army to the Emperor's aid, and this Latin army went onto the Holy Mountain and set about such barbarism as the Turks never perpetrated in 500 years. Hanging members of the Council and slaughtering many of the monks of Vatopedi, Iviron and other monasteries, the Latins attacked Zografou. The blessed Abbot Thomas told the brethren by inspiration that those who desired to save themselves from the Latins should flee the monastery, and those who desired a martyr's death should stay. Twenty-six men stayed: twenty-two monks with their abbot and four laymen who worked for the monastery. They all shut themselves in the monastery tower. When the Latins arrived, they set the tower on fire, and these twenty six heroes found a martyr's death in flames. While the tower was burning, they sang hymns of the Akathist to the Mother of God and gave their holy souls into God's hands on October 10th, 1282. In December of the same year, the dishonorable Emperor Michael Paleologos died in poverty, the Serbian King Milutin having risen up against him in defense of Orthodoxy, has been glorified and his relics remain uncorrupted. Union with the Pope with its unorthodox doctrine would destroy the Orthodox Church.
King Milutin was powerful and wealthy; he dressed in very simple clothing and at night walked among the people, seeking their needs and helping those in poverty. He built hospitals for the poor, where they received all their needs without payment. What he gave to the poor came from his enormous wealth. His body is preserved today in the Church of the Holy King in Serbia and is wonderworking.