Sainted Eustathii, ArchBishop of Serbia,

Commemorated on January 4

      Sainted Eustathii, ArchBishop of Serbia, lived in the second half of the XIII Century, during the reign of the Serbian king Stefan Urosh (1262-1320).
      He was born in the Budimil'sk district into a pious Christian family, where he received a spiritual upbringing. Distinguished by remarkable talents, the youth Evstathii was given over by his parents for training in "book wisdom". With particular diligence he studied Holy Scripture, perfecting himself in piety and good deeds. Having finished his education, the youth took vows at the monastery of the Archangel Michael in the Zetsk district (Chernogore) and led a strict monastic life, such that he soon became noted as a great ascetic. From thence he undertook a journey to Jerusalem, for veneration to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord. On the return journey he visited Holy Mount Athos and settled there in the Serbian Khilendaria monastery.
      The monk Evstathii gained general reknown and love as a strict ascetic and good teacher, and he was advanced to the dignity of hegumen of the monastery.
      After several years they ordained him bishop of the Zetsk diocese, and the saint returned to his native land. Rich spiritual experience and monastic life won him the love of his fellow countrymen, and Saint Evstathii was chosen to the throne of the archbishops of Serbia, successors of Saint Sava. For seven years Sainted Evstathii guided the Serbian Church and peacefully died about the year 1285. His body was buried in the Zhidocha monastery, and later it was transferred to Pesh (Pech) and placed in the cathedral church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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