Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Nicholai Velimorvich

St. Nicholai of Ochrid and Zicha--Mar. 5/18
St. Nicholai is one of the most beloved saints of modern times. He was born on Dec. 23, 1880 to a large peasant family. He received a doctorate in sacred theology in 1909 and was tonsured a monk later that year. He was eventually ordained a priest and became an archimandrite later. He spent time abroad during World War I but returned to Serbia in 1919 and was ordained a bishop at age 39.
He spent 1921 and 1922 in America, organizing the Serbian Orthodox Chruch in the U.S. and Canada. Until Yugoslavia collapsed in World War II he lived in Zicha and Ochrid, administering both dioceses. Along with Patriarch Gavrilo he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp where they suffered horribly although both survived. After his release he found that he was not welcome in Serbia and therefore spent the rest of his life in exile.
In 1946 he re-located to America where he spent the next ten years teaching, preaching, writing, and living a spiritual life. He fell asleep in the Lord on March 5/18, 1956. He was initially buried at the St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois but on May 12, 1991 he was re-buried in his native village next to his parents and nephew.
Prayers by the Lake by St. Nicholai.
The Prologue from Ohrid, arranged by St. Nicholai.

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