St Nikоlај of Serbia

The greatest Serbian saint of the 20th century, St Nikоlај Vеlimirоvić was born in  1880 in the village of Lеlić near Vаlјеvo. In the Ćеliје Monastery he learnt to read and write and to pray, then he went to the Vаlјеvo high school and the Belgrade School of Theology. He studied in Switzerland, Germany, England and Russia. He received two doctor degrees – at Oxford and in Geneva. During the WWI he worked on Serbian promotion in England and the USA and on collecting aid for the Serbian people and the army. He was said to have been “the Third Serbian Army”. After the war he became a bishop of Ohrid and then of Žiča. From a man of the world and a scientist, he became a champion of Christian love and a man of prayer. He was deemed the greatest preacher of the 20th century, but also a great author. He mostly read books are Orations on the Universal ManSpeeches under the MountHomiliasPrologue of OhridPrayers by the LakeCassiana and the Missionary Letters. In the WWII, the Germans kept him as a prisoner, and he was even in a concentration camp of Dachau. After the war he was not allowed to return to Serbia. He died in the USA in 1956.


The Church celebrates St Nikolaj of Serbia on the 5th /18th March, and the translation of his relics from the USA to Serbia on the 20th April/ 3rd May. His relics are in the Lеlić Monastery near Vаlјеvo.