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Serbian Sister - Princess Milica

Over the centuries Princess Milica has inspired the greatest Serbian poets, artists, musicians and historians. She has also inspired ordinary women and men with her faith, courage, motherhood and love for her people.

In 1389 the Serbians were defeated at the Ottoman attack, known as the battle of Kosovo Field. Princess Milica witnessed the most bloody and terrible times in Serbian history. Many lives were lost, including that of her husband. The Ottoman (Turkish) rulers wanted the Serbs to convert to Islam, but many resisted. The Serbians suffered their dark ages for five hundred years. After her husband’s death, Milica acted for her two young sons, Stefan and Vuk, leading the Serbian people under Ottoman occupation. She used wisdom and diplomacy to establish good links with the Ottoman Emperor. She saved many Orthodox churches and monasteries from destruction. These monasteries were the only source of strength and faith for the Serbian people. When her first son, Stefan, was old enough to take on the business of the state, Princess Milica withdrew from public life and became a nun. She built the Ljubostinja monastery. First she gathered widows to live there, but later she opened up this sanctuary for all who wanted to live the Christian monastic life. Her monastery became an educational institution, providing a safeguard for the spirit and culture of Serbia.

As a mother, Milica protected her children, teaching them respect and moral values. She was a gifted poet and her children inherited her skill with words. Two of them became famous poets in medieval Serbia. Traces of her inspiration survive in the Serbian literature of today. The people specially remember her two poems Mother’s Prayer and Widow’s Sadness. She died in 1405, but her spirit lives on.

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