Sava was born in 1169. He was the son of Stefan Nemanja, the Grand Zupan of Serbia. As a young man, Sava yearned for the spiritual life, for which he fled to the Holy Mountain, where he was tonsured a monk and lived according to the ascetic rule with rare zeal. Stefan Nemanja followed his son's example and came to the Holy Mountain, where he was tonsured a monk and eventually fell asleep in the Lord as the monk Simeon.
Sava obtained the Serbian Church's independence from the Byzantine emperor and the patriarch and became Serbia's first Archbishop. Together with his father, he built Hilandar Monastery and many other monasteries, churches, and schools throughout the Serbian lands.
On two occasions, he made pilgrimages to the sacred places in the Holy Land. He restored peace between his two brothers, who were estranged because of the power struggle. He restored peace between the Serbs and their neighbors.
In establishing the Serbian Church, he also found the Serbian state and culture. He instilled peace between all the Balkan people and worked for the benefit of all-for which he was loved and respected by all who lived in the Balkans.
He gave a Christian soul to the Serbian people- a soul that did not perish with the Serbian state's eventual collapse. During Emperor Asen's reign, the Sava reposed in Trnovo, Bulgaria, on January 12, 1236, after becoming ill following the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of Theophany.
King Vladislav translated his body to Milesevo Monastery, from which Sinan Pasha removed St. Sava relics to burn them on Vracar hill in Belgrade on April 27, 1595.