Sveti Sava (Saint Sava)

Sveti Sava is the patron saint of Serbia. He was born about 1175 as Rastko Nemanjic, son of the Serbian king Stefan Nemanja, but he denounced his title, became a monk and changed his name to Sava. Sava eventually founded the Serbian Orthodox Church and became its first archbishop. He was named a saint shortly after his death in 1235. He is one of the most important and well-loved people in Serbia's history.

Sveti Sava Parts the Sea

I was given a book and tape called "Sveti Sava u narodnom predanju" (or "Saint Sava in Folk Tradition") written by Milos Crnjanski. The first time I plopped it in my tape player, I heard a story that made my jaw drop. It was amazing. I had heard the story before but had never realized that it was Sava who did it. Listen to an MP3 of a reading of the story of Sveti Sava parting the sea and/or read the following transcript and translation. Note that the reading is prefaced by a short musical tribute.

Arnautski car jako zamrze Srbe, te u svojoj opakosti naumi da ih jednom sve iz zemlje istrebi. On skupi veliku vojsku i potera Crbe k moru. Pred Srbima idjase Sveti Sava. Kad dodjose do mora, Sveti Sava casnim krstom rastupi more i prodje sa Srbima izmedju dve stene od vode po dnu mora kao po suvu. Kad stigose Arnauti, i oni naidjase na more, ali kad behu pravo na sredini, Sveti Sava se pomoli Bogu i more se opet sastavi, te se Arnauti svi podavise. Ostade samo jedan Sepavin od koga se posle drugi Arnauti namnozise.

The following is my translation of the above story:

The Albanian Czar strongly hated Serbians, so in his wickedness, he determined to exterminate them, all at once, from the land. He gathered a great army and drove the Serbians to the sea. Before the Serbians went Saint Sava. When they came to the sea, Saint Sava, with his holy cross, parted the sea, and went with the Serbians between two walls of water, as if on dry ground. When the Albanians arrived, they too went on the sea, but when they were exactly in the middle, Saint Sava prayed to God, and the sea joined back together, and all of the Albanians drowned. Only one Albanian was left, from whom the other Albanians later multiplied.