St Eugenia’s chapel is located in the tower above St Lazar’s Hall. It is accessible via a staircase at the back.
St Eugenia, called Evgenija in Serbian, was the wife of St Lazar, ruler of Serbia from 1373 to 1389 and the patron saint of our church. Her original name was Milica; however, she took the name Eugenia during her entry into monasticism following the death of her husband at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.
During the battle, St Lazar was killed along with Sultan Murad I, the leader of the invading Ottoman forces. Devastated by the loss of her husband, Milica experienced further anguish when she sent her daughter Mileva for diplomatic reasons to the harem of Bayezid who ascended the throne as Sultan of the Ottomans following the death of his father Murad.
Milica continued to rule Serbia and founded Ljubostinja monastery in 1390. Around this time, she became a nun taking the name Eugenia. In 1393, her son Stefan Lazarević came of age to take the throne. Eugenia then took the name Euphrosine after becoming abbess of Ljubostinja where she was buried following her death in 1405. She was then canonised by the Serbian Orthodox Church.
St Eugenia’s feast day is the 19th July in the Julian Calendar or the 1st August in the modern-day Gregorian Calendar. Her chapel is also used for other occasions such as the canon readings of St Andrew during the beginning of Great Lent.
Milica’s name is also used by the Serbian Sisters who are also known as ‘Carica Milica’ which translates to ‘Empress Milica’.