ADDITIONAL ON HOLY KING MILUTIN
SAVED THE ORTHODOX FROM THE PAPACY
From the Prologue of Ochrid, Vol 4 p 130,131
The Holy King Milutin
“The son of Uros I and Queen Helena and brother of Dragutin, he fought fiercely to defend his faith and his people. He fought against (Emperor) Michael Palaeologus because the latter had accepted union with Rome and was putting pressure on the whole Balkan people and the monks of Athos to accept the Pope. He fought against Shishman, King of Bulgaria, and Nogai, King of the Tartars, to defend his country from them. All his wars were successful, for he prayed constantly to God and put himself in His hands. He built more than forty churches, both in his own land (Treskavac, Gracanica, St. George in Nagorie, the Holy Mother of God in Skoplje, Banjska and so forth) and in Salonica, Sophia, Constantinople, Jerusalem and on the Holy Mountain. He entered into rest in the Lord on October 29th, 1320, and his body was soon seen to be uncorrupt and wonderworking. It is still preserved in that state today in the Church of the Holy King in Sophia.
Author’s note: Milutin was married twice, not four times as detractors would have it; first to Elizabeth, a Hungarian princess, and then to Simonida, a princess of Byzantium.
That great son of the Orthodox Church, King Milutin, saved the Balkans from Uniatism. At the moment when the Byzantine Emperor’s conscience was weakened, this knightly and godly Slav stood decisively, and with God’s help saved Orthodoxy, not only in his own land but throughout the Balkans. He who examines the live of this holy King closely will understand why God gave him success after success throughout his life in all that he did. When Milutin came to his throne, he immediately vowed to God that he would build as many churches as the years he reigned. He reigned for forty-two years, and built forty-two churches. Besides some of his churches, as in Salonica and Constantinople, he built hospitals for the poor, where they received everything without payment.
Apart from that, he took pleasure in giving to the poor out of his own enormous wealth. This powerful and wealthy king often dressed himself in simple clothing and, at night, with two or three of his servants, walked among the people, enquring for the needy and generously helping the poor. In the midst of his great wealth, he lived a very simple family life, though he never showed this side of himself to outsiders. He had become accustomed to a simple way of life when still in the house of Uros his father. It is told how the Emperor Michael Palaeologus sent his daughter Anna with a delegation to the court of King Uros, offering her to Milutin in order to win the Serbian king to union with Rome. But King Uros, seeing the senseless Byzantine luxury of the princess and her entourage, exclaimed: “‘hat is all this, and what is it for We are not accustomed to this sort of life! He indicated a Serbian princess with a distaff in her hand: See, he said, this is the sort of thing we expect in our daughter-in-law.’” (Prologue of Ochrid)