St. Stefan Milutin was born around 1253 into the Nemanjić dynasty, a royal family that produced several Serbian saints. He was a younger son of King Stefan Uroš I of Serbia and Queen Helen of Anjou. His early years were marked by the usual upbringing of a prince, with a focus on education, military training, and understanding of governance, preparing him for future responsibilities.
Milutin came to power after a period of political turmoil and internal conflict. He ascended to the throne in the late 13th century and ruled until his death in 1321. His reign was characterized by territorial expansion and significant economic and cultural development. Milutin managed to enlarge the Serbian state to its largest extent thus far, incorporating lands from Macedonia to northern Greece.
Renowned for his piety and dedication to the Orthodox faith, Milutin was a fervent builder of churches and monasteries throughout his realm, contributing to the architectural and cultural bloom of medieval Serbia. He is credited with constructing some of the most significant medieval churches and monasteries, which are today considered masterpieces of Serbian medieval art. His endowments include the Banjska Monastery, the Church of St. Nicholas in Sofia, and the Gračanica Monastery in Kosovo, among others. He also played a role in promoting the spiritual and religious life of his people, supporting the clergy, and strengthening the Serbian Orthodox Church.
After his death, Milutin was canonized by the Serbian Orthodox Church, and his feast day is celebrated on October 30. He is remembered not only as a powerful monarch but also as a devout Christian who left a lasting religious and cultural legacy. His contributions to the church and the faith have earned him a revered place in the pantheon of Serbian saints. He is often depicted in religious art and is invoked as a patron of justice and piety.