Vukašin of Klepci

Holy Martyr, the Old Vukašin was an Orthodox Christian Serb from a village of Klepci on the Neretva river bank, Herzegovina. He was one of the victims of a great pogrom of the Serbs in Jasenovac. He was executed in January 1943. The testimony of his martyrdom was given by his executioner himself, an Ustasha cutthroat, Žile Friganović. In his personal confession to his physician, he revealed the details he remembered of Vukašin’s death, which finally drove him to an unbearable feeling of guilt and consequently to madness.

Old Vukašin, by his conduct and the words he put to his executioner, gave a brilliant example of a Christian sacrifice, making him a symbol of overall Serbian suffering in Jasenovac and a Holy  Martyr of the Orthodox Church. Immediately before killing him, the executioner looked at him as the old man, with an elusive composure, watched the horrific slaughter of his Orthodox brothers. He threw himself at the old man. After disfiguring him with a knife and in powerless frustration  threatened to cut his heart out of his chest if he would not loudly celebrate the Ustasha leader, the old man said, calmly, «You just do your job, son.»


The story of Old Vukašin’s suffering found its way into history, to be told for years to come. In 1998, the Serbian Orthodox Church Holy Ecumenical Synod canonised the martyr.