Sainted Daniel of Serbia

Commemorated on December 20

      Sainted Daniel of Serbia, the only son of rich and reknown parents, was a close associate of the Serbian king Stefan Urosh Miliutin. Having renounced a secular career, he took monastic vows under the hegumen of a monastery named for Saint Nicholas in the locale of Konchul on the banks of the River Ibro. The ascetic life of the Monk Daniel was an example for all the brethren. The Archbishop of Serbia Evstathii ordained him presbyter and took him into his cell. When it became time to choose the hegumen for the Khilendaria monastery on Holy Mount Athos, Saint Daniel then received the appointment. The saint was hegumen at a most difficult time for the Holy Mount, when the crusaders were expelled from Palestine, and having mingled together with the Arabs, they plundered and looted the Athonite monasteries, "not sparing anything sacred". Saint Daniel bravely dwelt at the Khilendaria monastery, which underwent storming and siege and hunger. When peace came to the Holy Mountain, the saint resigned being hegumen and withdrew into complete silence in the cell of Saint Savva of Serbia (at Karea). During the time of an internecine war of Urosh Miliutin with his brother Stefan Dragutin, the ascetic was summoned to Serbia, where he reconciled the brothers. In his native land Daniel was made Bishop of Bransk and head of the reknown monastery of Saint Stefan a royal treasury. Having finished at Bansk the construction of a cathedral church in the name of the holy Disciple and ArchDeacon Stephen, Saint Daniel again returned to his monastic efforts on the Holy Mountain.
      The saint was summoned from Athos yet another time in 1325, for his elevation to Archbishop of Serbia, taking place on the feastday of the Elevation of the Cross of the Lord. The "protos" ("head") of the Holy Mountain, Garbasios, and other Athonite elders took part in the solemnities. Archbishop Daniel was a model of piety, and a wise archpastor. Complete non-covetousness, incessant concern and toil for the needs of the Church and the flock along with the appearance of holy temples distinguished his service as bishop. In 1335 at Dechakh the saint erected a church in honour of the Ascension of the Lord one of the finest Christian monuments in Serbia. Having gathered accounts about the Serbian past, the saint compiled the "Rodoslov" (Account about the Native-land"), writing about the lives of Serbian rulers and Serbian archpastors. Sainted Daniel even during his lifetime was granted the gift of wonderworking and healing. After fourteen years as archbishop, Saint Daniel expired to the Lord on 19 December 1338.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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Sainted Daniel of
Serbia

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