Stephen Urоš II Мilutin (1282–1321) was the king of Serbia and one of the most powerful mediaeval rulers; the younger son of King Urоš and the younger brother to King Drаgutin, father to King King Stephen of Dеčаni. Мilutin was the first Serbian king to become a significant political factor in the region. In his time, the mining was at its peak, rendering Serbia quite wealthy – and able to keep a strong hired army. Spreading along the Constantinople Road, Serbia became a significant partner in foreign trade activities.
The sources indicate that he erected 40 churches – for each year of his reign. He restored and supported churches not only in Serbia, but the Byzantine lands (Salonika and Constantinople) as well, on Mount Athos, Palestine, Sinai and even in Italy. Because of his constant and honest endowment activities, two and a half years upon his death he was canonized.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
The Church celebrates Holy Мilutin on 30 October /12 November.
The most important Мilutin’s endowments are the Virgin of Ljеviš in Prizrеn, Grаčаnicа in Kоsоvo, the Three-hand Mother of God Church in Skоpјe, Stаrо Nаgоričinо in Macedonia, the King’s Church in Studеnica, Bаnjskа Monastery in Kоsоvo, the monastery church in Hilаndаr, crkvа u mаnаstiru St John the Baptist Monastery Church in Constantinople, St George’s Church in Salonika, Holy Archangels Church in Jerusalem, St Stephen’s Church on Sinai.
During his forty years of reign, Serbia started to extend its territories towards south at the expense of the Byzantine lands, taking the northern part of the today Albania and a greater part of the Vardar Macedonia. His wars with Bulgaria were successful, when Brаničеvо was taken for good.
Soon after his death, his remains proved to be miraculous. And as such, it kept today in the Holy King’s Church in Sophia, Bulgaria.