Avaccum the Deacon

Avaccum the Deacon is linked to Belgrade by his celebrated Christian martyrdom and death. He was born in 1794 in Knešpolje (Bosnia). As a young man he went to the Moštanica Monastery, joining a priest Gennady, and became a monk. After being persecuted by the Turks, along with the priest, he moved to the Trnava Monastery, near Čačak, under the abbot Paisius. After the 1814 Hajji-Prodan’s revolt (with abbot Paisius being one of the organisers), the Turks capture them and take them to the Belgrade’s Nebojša Tower. As an example to all the disobedient Serbs, abbot Paisius and some other prisoners were impaled. Fearing such a horrible death, Gennady and his son converted. Being a handsome young man, for quite a while the Turks were trying to persuade young Avaccum to convert, which he persistently denied. Famous are the words he sang loudly while being taken to his death, carrying on his back a stake he would be impaled on, “There’s no faith but the Christian faith! Serbs are Christ’s – they gladly die!”

He even rejected his mother’s appeals to convert, and seeing such courage, a Turkish commander ordered the executioners to kill him quickly.


The Venerated Deacon Avaccum is celebrated by the Serbian Orthodox Church on 30/17 December.


A poem Heroes of Christ (Heroji krsta) by Vojislav Ilić Jr. and a folk song The Deacon Avaccum’s Death (Smrt đakona Avakuma)


The Moštanica Monastery below Kozara in Bosanska Krajina, the Trnava Monastery near Čačak, Belgrade