Page 565 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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comprehend with reason who is this King of kings, Lord of lords, who takes the souls of both kings and princes, in whose hands every being rests to venerate Him with fear and joy, as He said through David the Prophet: “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling” (Ps 2:11); and again: “Bring an offering and come into his courts” (Ps 96:8); and again: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name” (Ps 96:8). He was beloved by our fathers who also trusted in Him, trusted in Him and were saved, for rejecting the con- cern of all earthly things and accepting spiritual reason and the fear of God, they exchanged the earthly kingdom for heavenly life and glory eternal, leaving for us on earth me- morials worthy of praise, filling our souls and our bodies with all sweetness and joy.
i shall mention Simeon Nemanja, the first and holy ruler, lover of his fatherland, Serbian enlightener and new myrrh- -gusher and his own son, beloved by God from his youth, holy and most reverend Sava, the first Serbian archbishop and his brother in flesh, King Stefan the First-crowned, and after them, all our ancestors who from them shone and who ruled on earth, may their memory be eternal. Of their kin am i myself, a sinful and unworthy servant of Christ, Stefan, by God’s grace the ruler of all Serbian and littoral lands, the great-grandson of Saint Simeon Nemanja and the grandson of King Stefan the First-Crowned (Stefan Pr- vovenčani) and the son of the holy and powerful and most high king of all Serbian lands and of the littoral, Stefan Uroš, son and heir to their holy roots, the branch and only-be- gotten offshoot of my holy father, beloved by his heart more than his whole life, the mainstay and strength of his old age. The evils which befell me and caused my suffering i will briefly recount, not because of the pain i suffered, but for the glory of God, that all who hear might learn to love the Lord and to fear Him with trembling as almighty God.
Thus, it happened that, while i lived in parental love and while i ever rejoiced in earthly renown, the evil and vile devil who has hated the human race since time imme- morial, who deluded the brothers of the magnificent jo- seph into selling their brother, and who placed into the heart of traitor judas the thought to hand over his Lord to cruci- fixion, forgetting all the good teachings and sweetness that he had enjoyed from his Teacher with the holy apostles; that same devil here moved into ill-natured and ill-inten- tioned men, raised by my parents and myself, with love of heart as brothers and sons who, abandoning God and for- getting our great love, began to gradually sow the evil tares between myself and my father. Those who pretended to be loyal to us in various ways have proved to be worse and more vile than the disloyal. Those who envied my good life, guided him [my father] with evil and improper council into such a terrible and indecent deed that it is mortifying to hear, and difficult for the human mind to comprehend. They did to me what they did. Listening to them, he [my father] soon deprived me of the light of my eyes, neither waiting, nor examining the truth, nor reasoning carefully about the
The First Charter of the Dečani Monastery
verdict, for judgment belongs to God. Moreover, he gave me into captivity; he handed me over with my children to emperor andronicus to keep me in Constantinople, so that after this never again would my name be mentioned, nor the name of my children, and that never again would i see the land of my fathers.
Merciful God, who from the beginning knows all and examines hearts, who sustained the magnificent joseph in his captivity and appointed him to rule over many peoples and his own brothers, knowing the love and justice in my heart toward my father, showed His great mercy onto me, returning the light of my eyes, and snatched me as if from the very gates of deadly Hades, and after leading me out, He placed me on the throne of my holy parents and forefa- thers, and appointed me to reign over the land of my fa- thers, as emperor and lord. Neither was this awe-inspiring deed concealed from all my peers, from the emperors and kings living arotind us, nor from all the lands that heard about it.
and i was crowned by the God-gifted crown of the Ser- bian kingdom on the same day with my son in the year 6829, in the month of january, on the sixth day, the fifth indic- tion, on the feast day of the epiphany, by the blessing and hand of the most reverend archbishop Nikodim, and all the bishops and the whole Serbian assembly of Bishops, receiving the name of Stefan, by the mercy and enlighten- ment of God, King Uroš the Third. and i, rejoicing in spir- it and body at the divine gift given to me, O my Lord Christ, with my beloved son, the young king Stefan [Dušan], what shall i give you, O my Lord Christ, for all you have given me, because when i fell you raised me up, and when i was on the verge of death you revived me.
and remembering the terrible hour of death like all prophets and apostles and martyrs and saints and emper- ors who ended by death, not a single one of them winning a reprieve, all settled in the tomb and all were received by the earth as their mother, and fearing the moment of Your judgment when Your angels will cry, “Show your deeds that you might receive your reward,” i bow before You who know all my sins, known and unknown, seeking your great succor, both fearing and wishing with all my soul to follow the teachings and good deeds of my holy parents and fore- fathers, and to fulfill and accomplish that which is missing. among all these, i magnify and celebrate our most rever- end and blessed Sava, who more than all others labored over God’s holy commandments, whom Christ Himself made blessed and celebrated on earth, and in heaven with unutterable glory. He adorned and accepted the throne of the Serbian kingdom, established the archbishopric, and founded and beautified many other churches, appointed honorable men to serve, some as bishops, others as abbots, and, gathering a multitude of monks and clergy of every rank to celebrate God, he assigned them to minister ac- cording to their office. in this place, too, called Dečani in the district of Zatrnava, finding a location lovely and suitable

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