Saint Stephen Stiljianovich of Serbia was born into a pious Christian family in the Serbian city of Zhupa (south of Zakholmya). During this time Serbia was often subjected to invasions by the Turks, who devastated the land. St Stephen defended his native land, did military service in the army of the Serbian ruler. When famine began in the country, the kindly St Stephen distributed his own bread to the hungry.
The patriotic activity of the saintly soldier was indissolubly bound up with his truly Christian life. “In virtue, he lived as an ascetic with charity, purity, prayer, the Orthodox Faith and unhypocritical love of neighbor.”
The saint fell asleep in the Lord on October 4, 1515. After a time, the Turks saw a light shining over his grave. Thinking that they had found a hidden treasure, they opened the grave and found the incorrupt body of St Stephen. Serbian monks ransomed the relics from the Turkish Pasha and transferred them to the Shishatovets monastery on Mount Phrushtsk.
The Serbian Church prays to him as a glorious righteous defender of his native land, “Glory in the struggles, warrior Stephen Stiljianovich, great healer of those who pray to you in faith.”