Self Sacrifice — Kosovo Heritage #2

Christ’s words about the road of suffering which leads to the Kingdom of Heaven reach – through the spiritual self-denials of the first Serbian saints and through the descriptions of the poets – their culmination in the act of the martyr-death of Knez Lazar at Kosovo.

The Serbs did not surrender to the Turks in 1389, nor did they accept the status of vassals. They instead chose to fight, since they, as a people, had well-developed spiritual values in all spheres of life – Church, state, culture, and art. Aware of the fact that a man who possesses spiritual values cannot be a slave, they chose to accept self-sacrifice and death, which is not considered a defeat, but emergence of spiritual idealism – a source of new life and never-broken hope in the final triumph of justice and truth, of those values which belong to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Apsidal fresco, Church of the Mother of god, Pec, c 1335. Vaulted section: Mother of God enthroned between archangels. Middle section: Communion of the Apostles. Lover section: Hierarchs – St. sava, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Basil The Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius of Alexandria and St. Nicholas of Myra. Side sections: Stylite saints. At edge of vault: In roundels, episcopal saints.
Patriarch Arsenije III Carnojevic, who led (1690) the great migration of Serbs from Kosovo.
Communion of the Apostles, Church of the Ljevska Mother of God, Prizren, 1310
Icon of Ss. Cosmas and Damien, Pec Monastery Treasury, 1673/74 (outer panels representing scenes from the lives of thses saints).
Fresco, Dormition of the Virgin Mary, Decani, 1335-1350
Fresco, King Dusan, Queen Jelena and their son Uros, Decani, 1335-1350.
Narthex, Pec
Fresco, Despot Stefan Lazarevic (ruled 1389-1427), son of Prince Lazar, Manasija Monastery.
Lower section of arch: The Last Supper, Pec, 1335 Lunette: The Twelve Apostles, Pec, 1335. Spandrels: Two of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels, Pec, 1335
St. Euphemia Gracanica Monastery 14th C.
The Gospel of St. Matthew, 15th c