Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

July 15, 2004


At its regular meeting from May 10 to May 19, 2004, the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church selected Hieromonk Dr. Maksim (Vasiljevic) as Bishop of Hum and vicar (auxiliary bishop) of the Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosnia.

The formal ceremony of consecration of the new bishop – the chirotonia of the elected Bishop of Hum will be performed by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle with the concelebration of several bishops, priests and deacons of our holy Church in the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God Orthodox Cathedral in Sarajevo.

On Saturday, July 17, 2004 at 5:00 p.m. the formal act of appointment of the new Bishop will take place followed by evening Vigil, followed by Holy Hierarchal Liturgy and the act of chirotonia on Sunday, July 18, 2004 at 9:00 a.m.

Biography of the elected Bishop of Hum, Archimandrite Maksim (Vasiljevic)

Hieromonk Dr. Maksim (Milan) Vasiljevic, an assistant professor of the Department of Hagiology at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, and of Christian anthropology and sociology at the Spiritual Academy in Srbinje, was born on June 27, 1968 in Foca. He is the son of Lazar (a priest) and Radmila. He completed elementary school in Sarajevo in 1983.

As a cleric of the Metropolitanate of Dabro-Bosnia, he took monastic vows on August 18 and was ordained a deacon on August 19, 1996 in Tvrdos Monastery by Bishop Dr. Atanasije (Jevtic) of Zahumlje and Herzegovina. He was a temporary cleric of the Greek Church (Archbishopric of Athens) and a deacon in the church of St. Irina in Athens from 1997 to 1999. He was ordained a hieromonk on August 19, 2001 in Trebinje. At this year’s regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, he was elected Bishop of Hum and vicar (auxiliary bishop) of the Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosnia.

He completed his elementary education in Foca and Sarajevo, and then studied at the St. Sava Seminary in Belgrade from 1983 to 1988. He graduated from the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1993. As a scholarship student of the state of Greece (1995-97) and the Aleksandar Onassis Foundation (1998), he achieved a Master’s Degree in Theology from the University of Athens in 1996 and, three years later, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in dogmatics and patrology (1999). He did one year of postdoctoral studies in Paris at the Sorbonne (2003-04) in Byzantine history and theology. At the same time, he served an internship at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris where he concerned himself with the theory and practice of painting under the guidance of A. Pinkas. He speaks Greek, Russian, English and French. He has published numerous studies, articles and translations.


On July 14, 2004 Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy on the ruins of Sts. Cosmas and Damian Monastery in Zociste, municipality of Orahovac, with the concelebration of the priests and monks of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren. Some 200 Serbs from Orahovac and Velika Hoca attended the service while very strong KFOR troops and members of the UNMIK police and Kosovo Police Service secured the monastery.

"This is the fifth year that we have gathered on the ruins of this holy shrine, praying to God and His saints and healers Cosmas and Damian to enable the restoration of this monastery," said Bishop Teodosije, addressing the faithful and reminding them that during the Turkish occupation Orthodox Christians also gathered on the ruins of their holy shrines until they were able to rebuilt them. "This monastery brought together all people of good will throughout this area, both Serbs and Albanians. If it is God's will its reconstruction will help heal the wounds left by the war and these difficult postwar years," he said. Bishop Teodosije pointed out that white candles and towels can often be seen on the ruins, left by local Albanians who used to come to the monastery before with their ailing and seek the help of the Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian. "This is an encouraging sign which shows that the shrine still lives," emphasized Bishop Teodosije.

In his sermon Bishop Teodosije expressed special thanks to Italian Brigadier General Danilo Errico and German Colonel Erhard Buehler, soldiers of the local Austrian KFOR contingent, as well as UNMIK and KPS police officers who provided security for the celebration. General Errico and Colonel Buehler also attended the service at Zociste Monastery.


The “Choirs Among the Frescoes” Festival was established in 1995 with the goal of restoring and preserving Serbian Orthodox spiritual music. It has taken place ten times in as many years and brought together choirs from Serbia and abroad. The ten-year anniversary of the event celebrated this year concluded with the presentation of awards, plaques and frescoes donated by the Academy for Arts and Conservation of the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The recipients of the Vojislav Ilic Award this year are the Chamber Choir of the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Obilic Choir and conductors Predrag Miodrag, Aleksandar Spasic, Milovan Pancic and composer Miodrag Govedarica. Awards were presented on behalf of the Academy of the Serbian Orthodox Church by the dean of this church educational institute, Protopresbyter Dr. Radomir Popovic. Special praise went to the Chamber Choir of the Academy of Music of the University of Serbian Sarajevo, the Abrasevic Choir and conductor Rade Radovic. All participants who took part in the event received certificates of recognition.


In the area of the Pirot hierarchal administration, which belongs to the Diocese of Nis, there are 27 churches and monasteries, which is why the area is popularly known as “Little Athos”. In this area many churches have been reconstructed and some of the monastery dormitories have been restored. Currently the final preparations are being made in this diocese for the beginning of the construction of a church in the village of Orlja on the foundations of a medieval church. In the village of Izvor a church built in 1895 has been completely restored and new utility buildings and a plateau in the churchyard added. The church in Baltadejlovac in the Hanska parish has also been restored while in the Stara Planina village of Jelovica the church dome has collapsed and its restoration is being prepared. In the village of Jeljusa the church roof is being restored. Major construction work is also to be done on the old Pirot church built in 1834 where archeological investigations were recently conducted; in the near future the terrain is to be drained to protect the foundation and floor of the church from dampness. The church was dug more than one meter into the earth because the order of the Turkish authorities was that it must not be higher than the nearby mosque. The dome of this old church will also be restored.

Source: Balkan, July 15, 2004

[Serbian Translation Services]

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