Orthodox America


St. Angelina of Serbia  


Commemorated July 30

The holy saint, Angelina, was the daughter of the Godly Orthodox Prince of Albania, the brave Scanderbeg. At that time most of the people of Albania were Orthodox Christians who were glorious in their defense of the Faith. At the court of her father who ruled this people the princess Angelina grew up, increasing in the gifts of the Spirit by the help of the Lord God, and her will made strong by the teaching of Christ. The name of her mother is not known, but we can see how she was brought up and what great care her parents gave to the training of her soul in the spirit of the Gospel teaching--and who but her mother would have given so much thought to the growth towards God of her heart and soul?

    While she was living thus, growing in stature and the knowledge of the Lord, the young ruler of Serbia, Stephen, came to her father seeking refuge from those of his countrymen who wished to kill him. This Stephen was very gentle and God fearing and some years before had suffered the wrath of the Turkish Sultan who had unjustly punished him with blindness. Comforted by his clear conscience, Stephen bore his misfortune with a strong heart. Prince Scanderberg received him as a kinsman and before long Stephen felt himself to be a member of the household.

     In view of his prolonged exile there and his godly character, it is not surprising that he won the sympathy of Angelina, and not only her sympathy, for their hearts came very close together. So strong was her love that she agreed to share the lot of the young ruler who was not only without a country but also without eyesˇ Having received the consent of her parents, the young couple received the blessing of the Church in the rite of marriage.

     In the years that followed they had two sons, George and John. When they had grown up, the peace of that country was destroyed by the invasion of the Turks who began killing people with no regard to age or sex. Wherefore Stephen, with his wife Angelina and his two sons, fled to Italy where he lived out the remaining portion of his life until his repose in 1468. Angelina was left a widow. In her poverty she turned to the Hungarian ruler for help. He showed mercy and gave them the town of Kupinovo in Sirmie. So in l486 she came from Italy with her two sons, bearing the incorrupt body of her saintly husband, which she buried there in his Serbian homeland. The two sons also became saints. The first-born, George, gave his title as ruler to his younger brother John and became a monk by the name of Maxim; John was married but had no sons and died in 1503 when he was not yet old. His life was full of good works and it pleased the Lord to glorify him by working miracles through trace bestowed on his relics. Thus, her husband and both of her sons died during Angelina's lifetime. Already old and having drunk the cup of sorrow she took upon herself the "angelic way of life", and followed the rule of prayer as a nun for the salvation of her soul. When her time came she died quietly in the Lord, and was buried in one tomb with her sons in the church of the monastery of Krushedol in Frushka Gora, where to this day there is a service every year in her memory.

(Adapted from Lives of the Serbian Saints by Voyeslav Yanich; reprinted by Eastern Orthodox Books, 1974,)

[OA/_private/oabot.htm]