Preserve Hilandar

The Patronal Feast Day of Hilandar Monastery, Venerable St. Simeon the Myrrh-Flowing


At the Holy Imperial Serbian Lavra Hilandar, the patronal feast day, St. Simeon the Myrrh-flowing was solemnly celebrated.

The day before the feast, Abbot Methodius and the brotherhood welcomed the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Karakala, Archimandrite Philotheos, and the monks from Karakala.

In the sermon delivered in the church, Abbot Philotheos expressed gratitude and joy to the abbot of Hilandar and the brotherhood for their hospitality and for celebrating the Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-flowing together. With his son, Saint Sava, the Archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Simeon the Myrrh-flowing represents the pride of this historical Holy Monastery, and also faith and blessing for the pious Serbian Orthodox people.

Even though eight centuries back, the benevolence of Saint Sava towards the Holy Monastery of Karakala is still remembered. So, Abbot Philotheos quoted a passage from the Saint Sava hagiography, as written by Saint Bishop Nikolaj, describing an occasion when Saint Sava helped the brotherhood of their monastery.

“Holy Abbot and respected fathers, in the history of your Holy Monastery, as written by Saint Nikolaj Velimirović, the following historical data are mentioned, showing the great benevolence towards our Holy Monastery of Karakala.

Stefan, the great ruler, sent a significant sum of money to Sava to be distributed for the repose of their father’s soul. Saint Sava used the money for the best purposes, saving three glorious monasteries of Mount Athos, the Holy Monastery of Karakala, Ksiropotam, and Philotheos. The Karakala Monastery owed a significant sum of money to the Great Lavra, and since they could not pay back, and again, so as not to lose their independence, the Karakala brotherhood pleaded with the Lavra brotherhood for mercy.

However, the Karakala monastery was taken over and the abbot and brotherhood were forced to leave. In their misfortune, the Karakala brotherhood turned to Saint Sava for help. When Saint Sava heard about their hardships, he immediately paid back the total sum of their debt to the Great Lavra and this way, restored their freedom and independence.

Saint Sava performed another benefaction when he personally visited the Holy Monastery of Karakala. Seeing the completely destroyed buildings, Saint Sava restored them, again from his personal funds. And that is why we came here today, with great desire and joy, to celebrate with you and to express our gratitude to the great patrons of our monastery, Venerable Simeon the Myrrh-flowing, and Saint Sava, Archbishop of Serbia. And again, we are grateful to be able to receive the blessing of Saint Simeon and Saint Sava, as well as that of Three-handed Theotokos’’.

During the festive Divine Office led by Abbot Philotheos, the monks from Karakala chanted on the right, and the Hilandar chanters on the left side.

The monastery patronal feast day was attended by the brotherhood from several Holy Mount monasteries, the majority of Hilandar hermitages in Kareia, monks and priests from the Serbian Orthodox Church, and a large number of devotees.

“All-Venerable and Dear Holy Abbot of this glorious clerical family of Hilandar, Father Methodius, honorable fathers and brothers,

Let us thank God and Most Holy Mother of God, and the Patroness of our Holy Mountain, as they have deemed us worthy to celebrate the bright feast vigil in honor of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-flowing, the glorious emperor and founder of the renowned sacred and honorable Hilandar Monastery – the pride of the pious Serbian Orthodox people, who, throughout all times, have been God-loving and honorable companions of the Orthodox faith.

The life of Saint Simeon, of course, is so miraculous, and we do not have enough strength or time to properly praise his luminous and blessed personality. However, out of pious love and gratitude to the Saint, we will emphasize, simply out of respect, some aspects of his holy life.

As witnessed by the Hagiographies of Saint Simeon and Sava, Saint Simeon led a virtuous and God-loving life even before his monastic renunciation of the world. Despite his imperial glory and power, Saint Simeon was not allured by worldly vanity and pride due to his highest position. Inspired by the ideals of the Christian faith, he lived his life in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel. With his pious queen, he raised and educated his children by Gospel and the Lord’s wisdom. In the Holy Gospel, the Lord speaks about people: ‘By their fruits, you will know them.’ The brilliant fruit and glorious offspring of these pious parents was a rich harvest of virtue and wisdom.

Saint Sava, the patron of this Holy Monastery, later the Archbishop of Serbia, from his young age, from his childhood, worshipped the Lord with his whole soul, came to the Holy Mount and, like a thirsty deer seeking water sources, devoted his whole self to the monastic vow and ascetic life.

Managing his kingdom in a godly manner and receiving a divinely inspired letter from Saint Sava, Saint Simeon literally embodied heavenly teachings and, like every good land, yielded a hundredfold spiritual fruit. Leaving the imperial courts and all worldly vanity for the sake of the eternal and imperishable Kingdom, he came to the Holy Mount, to his beloved son, Saint Sava, and putting aside the royal crown, clothed himself in the humble monastic habit, living in extreme poverty and asceticism for the love and glory of Christ.

The Righteous Judge, the Lord, wishing to reveal his life for God and how pleasing he was, glorified Saint Simeon after his repose with myrrh flowing from his holy relics. Saint Simeon received a special gift to bestow the blessing of childbirth to those who, as they pray, invoke his presence before God.


We admire the divine wisdom and providence of the Lord, since through these two Saints, the plan of the Most Holy Mother of God was realized – to build this glorious Holy Monastery, where the Most Holy Mother of God later designed to be placed and venerated, housing her miraculous holy Icon called Three-handed Theotokos.

Saint Simeon represents a glorious example of a virtuous ruler of all times. Today, when we painfully witness those in power introduce dishonorable laws contrary to the Christian faith, it is with nostalgia that we remember the holy rulers like Saint Simeon, who aimed to establish Christian institutions and Gospel ethos in the state and society.

All-Venerable Holy Abbot, once again, we thank you for the invitation to jointly celebrate the feast day and receive the blessing of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-flowing and Saint Sava, Archbishop of Serbia, the patrons of the ancient Holy and honorable Hilandar Monastery, who we pride on, as well as the wonderful, grace-filled holy Icon of Three-handed Theotokos.

We pray that Saint Simeon the Myrrh-flowing, Saint Sava, and the grace of the Most Holy Three-handed Theotokos protect this historical Holy Monastery Hilandar, our Holy Mount, and all Orthodox Serbian people.

For many blessed years to come.