Saint Bishop Nikolai Of Ohrid and Zhicha and Enlightener of America

Like St. Sava , the Enlightener of Serbia, holy Bishop Nicholai died in a foreign land. Behind the main church of Chelije Monastery in his home village of Lelich, next to the grave of Archimandrite Justin Popovich ( +1979) , was marked  a place  for his return to the homeland and the people he so very much loved. Thus, on April 27, 1991, after twenty five years of repose in the Lord in America, holy Bishop Nicholai’s bodywas returned to his homeland in western Serbia. Pious American Orthodox, particularly many Russian Orthodox, did not forget theblessed Nicholai, as at St. Tikhon’s Monastery his room wasmade into a shrine for prayer and meditation.

His beloved disciples Justin Popovich, wrote this words in 1961, at the fifth anniversary of Blessed Nikolai’s repose in the Lord: 

“Thank you, Lord- in him we have a new apostle! Thank you, Lord- in him we have a new Evangelist! Thank You, Lord in him we have a new Martyr! Thank You Lord –in him we have a new saint!”

“O Holy Father Nicholai, the magnificence of thy glory shines forth  for all to see, as  thy divine brilliance illumines us all  with  the superabundant love of Christ the Prince of Peace and Humble Shepard. Pray to Christ the only lover of mankind, O Most loving Arch-shepherd, for us  weak and decrepit sinners, that His mind, His brilliance, His care, His energy, His divinity, His strength, His sacrifice, His humility and His  resurrected

Glory may shine within our hearts so that we may in some small way spread His love to the ends of the earth, to Whom belongs glory, honor and worship, together with his Unoriginated Father and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and  unto ages of ages. Amen.  “(from the Book  SerbianPatericon – by Fr. Daniel  Rogich)


Troparion to St. Nicholai of Ochrid and Zhicha: Tone 8

Loving thy homeland thou didst sojourn as a patriot to secure aid for God's suffering children,* and as a new Chrysostom thou didst preach to those  in darkness* the rediscovery of the  Foundational Rock, Christ the Lord,* in the  eternal homeland of God's Kingdom;* thy pastoral love for all, O Confessor Nicholai, was purified in captivity by the godless ,* demonstrating thy commitment to the truth and thy people;* therefore, O venerable  hierarch, thou hast attained  the crown  of eternal life.