St Basil of Ostrog

Translator Notes:

Vasilie, Vasilly, Basil are all transcribed versions of the Serbian Vasilije. We will use Vasilie since it’s most similar to the original Serbian.

The Serbian Alphabet is phonetic which means that each letter is a phonetic sign (i.e. thereis no “spelling rules”) but that also means that we need more (30) letters with which you may not be so familiar. Those letters can be found in names and toponyms. I tried to preserve names in their original form and for easier reading I will give phonetic “translations” for some of the letters:

Đ đ /dʑ/

Ž ž /ʐ/

Ć ć /tɕ/

Č č /ʈʂ/

Dž dž /ɖʐ/

Š š /ʂ/

J j /ʝ/

G g /ɡ/

For more on Serbian Alphabet look in [20].

Original text: 

Life of our Saint and God-bearing father Vasilie of Ostrog, Metropolitan of Zachlumia

Celebrated April 29 (12th May according to the new)

To every nation and in every era philanthropic Lord gives His Saints to the Church, which will, his faithful people, educate and sanctify and guide on their earthly path to the Kingdom of Heaven. And in the Serbian nation also, since it became Christ’s, the Lord has been continuously giving his Saints, by whom God was celebrated and testified and through which orthodox people were redeeming and divinely enlightening. Many great Saints Lord gave to every corner of the Serbian land at all times through its history, in the first era of freedom and in the later era of slavery. Likewise in Zachlumia, Serbian country, and through her to all the spiritual descendants of St. Sava [1], God gave in the difficult times of the Ottoman occupation this holly and God-bearing our father Vasilie newly appeared miracle worker of Ostrog and Zachlumia.

Our Holy Father Vasilie, called Ostrogian, was born in Hum country, today’s Herzegovina, which was previously ruled by St. Sava before his departure to the Holy Mountain Atos. And returning from Mount Athos, when he founded a Serbian Archbishopric, St. Sava in that country founded bishopric of Zachlumia, which later was governed by our Holy Father Vasilie as Metropolitan. But we ought firstly to present his sacred hagiography from the beginning.

St. Vasilie was born in the village Mrkonjic in Popovo plains on December 28th 1610, from pious and devout Orthodox parents Petar (Peter) Jovanovic and his wife Anastasia. Parents at baptism gave to the child name Stojan, and then they teach him the Godly fear and every useful wisdom. Blessed Stojan since childhood was bright and very smart, and with a soul completely turned to God by virtue of piety. The first lessons of virtue and piety Stojan had in his home, because his family thought more about God and the soul, then about the materialistic and transient things. Another school of his piety was his fasting, prayer and constantly attending worship services at the church. Although young, Venerable regularly went to the holy church services. Stepping on the threshold of the temple of God, he made Lenten and reverently kissed firstly church floor and then the holy Cross and the sacred icons in the temple. At the Holy Liturgy he was standing with divinely fear, faith and love, like he was standing before the throne of God. He distinguished himself always with calmness and seriousness, and also with gracious heart and soul. His family was poor and hardly had bread for they needs. But he, even that little bread he ate, he never ate alone, but always shared with others, especially while as a shepherd herding sheep along with other shepherds.

His parents were hated by some malicious neighbors, apostates from the faith and Turkish converts, and their hatred has turned against the young Stojan because of his piety and wisdom. These were the first temptations for a young soul, which will later have to suffer many more such ordeals. To shelter a child from the enemy and also wanting to introduce him to books and literacy, parents took him to the nearest monastery in that region, called Zavala [2], dedicated to the Presentation of Mary, and at which the abbot was Stojan’s uncle Serafim. Monastery was well known in the region of Herzegovina and had sizable fraternity. At the monastery there were erudite monks, and also they had a lot of books there. Here prudent young Stojan learned the wisdom of the Holy Scriptures and of the Holy Fathers, but also useful worldly science. Reading books and words of the Holy Fathers his soul was kindled by love towards the God and the holy ascetic life, and therefore he wished to become a monk.

In the Zavala monastery Venerable stayed for a while, and then moved to the Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, called Tvrdoš in Trebinje region [3], which was the seat of the Diocese of Trebinje. While living in this monastery, blessed was attracted even more towards monastic life, and therefore he extended his ventures because he now finally decided to receive here holy and angelic monastic rank. All those time there he spent in fasting, vigil and prayer, and in physical labor. When he then became monk, he was given the monastic name Vasilie. This name of his was a sign that in his future asceticism and episcopacy he should look upon the holy and great hierarch of the Church of God, Basil the Great. After a while Venerable was honored by the diaconal and priestly rank. And since then he was serving before the throne and the altar of God with every devotion and purity. Having spent some time in the monastery, he went to Montenegro to the, then Metropolitan of Cetinje, Mardarije, who kept him by his side in Cetinje. But soon between the two there was a disagreement about a very important matter, about which we will speak now.

At that time, through western Orthodox regions, was spreading forced Latin propaganda. Roman clerics, known as the Jesuits, sent from Rome by the Pope to use the difficult situation of enslaved and suffering Orthodox in order to convert them to their Latin heresy and brought them under papal authority, were swooping at that time, through the coastal and regions of Montenegro and Herzegovina. To their devious operation against the Orthodox Metropolitan Mardarie was alerted by zealous Orthodox, Blessed Vasilie, but the Metropolitan wasn’t caring for that and was lenient towards Uniatic propaganda. Thanks to their faith and devotion to Orthodoxy, but also to diligent work of Venerable Vasilie against the Uniats, the Orthodox people and priests were not succumbing to the Latin propaganda. Venerable was advising Metropolitan to fiercely come forth against the enemies of the Church and that he shouldn’t be afraid of anything when it comes to defending the faith and truth of Christ, but the Metropolitan was not listening. What’s more, he began to plot against the St. Vasilie and to falsely accuse him in front of people. The people did not believe these Metropolitan’s slanders because they knew the holy and God-pleasing life of Vasilie, and he was very respected and loved, but, wanting to move away from evil and scheming, Venerable went back to his monastery Tvrdoš. But even there he has not ceased to fight for the preservation of the Orthodox faith and to protect his people from the vicious foreignness. That’s why he was called by people ,,Zealot of Orthodoxy”.

Living in Tvrdoš, Saint continued his feats, not only for the salvation of his soul, but even more for the salvation of his Orthodox people. From his prayerful monastic cell at the monastery he could perceive all the hardships and misery suffered by his people, choking on heavy Turkish slavery, the poverty and indigence, fearing of Turkish tyranny and lawlessness, in bullying and danger from the Uniatic propaganda. And that’s why he constantly raised the warm prayers towards God for the salvation of his people. Although at that time he was already Archimandrite, he hasn’t been staying only at the monastery, but was also going with evangelical mission amongst people, so that he, as a priest and shepherd, visits Herzegovina villages and houses, and to preach the Gospel of Christ. Traveling through his nation like his predecessor St. Sava, he was holding all the Holly Services and the Sacraments amongst the people, and comforting them to be brave in faith and suffering, and helping the afflicted and bereaved. Under the name “Rayah’s[4] Prayer”, as the Turks called him, he was serving as a shepherd of God’s people and his evangelical enlightener.

His apostolic work evoked against him local muslim converts, and they sought to kill him. In order to move aside from these dangers, and to do more for his people, Saint set of for the Orthodox Russian country. Returning after some time from Russia, he brought with him many valuable gifts for the church, sacred vestments and books, and also some money for his people. With these gifts he provided for impoverished church through Herzegovina, and also he was helping unfortunate and needy. Furthermore, he started on renovating many derelict and dilapidated temples, and setting up of national schools in Tvrdoš and in parish churches. For this Nemanjic’s[5] ktetorian and enlightener’s work he called for help of fellow Tvrdoš’s monks and parish priests. However, the wily devil of mankind neither this time left him alone. Earlier hatred of his enemies again was flaring up. On the one hand, there were muslim converts, and on the other agents of the Latin Union. His fearless and tireless apostolic zeal and shepherding was only increasing hatred and violence of God’s enemies so that the Saint was again forced to move away from the region.

This time he decides to travel to the Holy Mountain Athos, to that beacon of the Orthodox faith and Saintly life. Therefore he headed from Tvrdoš over Onogost (Nikšić) and the Župa of Nikšić, and came to the Morača monastery[6]. From Morača he crossed the Vasojevićs and Budimlje and arrived to the monastery of Đurđevi stupovi (Tracts of St. George)[7], and from there proceeded all the way to Peć. In Peć he contacted Patriarch of Peć Paisie Janjević (1614-1647) and told him in detail about the sad and bitter condition of Orthodox Serbs in Herzegovina, about their suffering under Turkish violence and oppression and deceitful propaganda of Latins. Then he expressed to the Holly Patriarch his desire to travel to the Holy Mountain, and asked for his blessing. The wise patriarch Paisie immediately realized that Archimandrite Vasilie has great spiritual virtues and abilities, and admiring to his former pastoral work, he was immediately thinking of producing him as a bishop. But instead he firstly let him leave to the Holy Mountain and advised him not to stay there, but to return to him to Peć. The Patriarch appraised Godly Vasilie and he concluded that only such person can help to severly endangered Orthodox people in Zahumska regions.

Vasilie arrived peacefully to the Holy Mountain and remained there for a year. He had visited there many monasteries and sketes and learned much from many ascetics and hermits of Mount Athos. But most of the time he spent at the Serbian monastery Hilandar[8,9], among Serbian monks. On his return trip from the Holy Mountain he stopped by again in Peć and contacted the patriarch. Holy Patriarch then assembled fellow countryman hierarchs and on the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord 1638, he ordained Vasilie as a Bishop, and assigned him as the Metropolitan of Trebinje based at the monastery Tvrdoš. Although still young, with less than thirty years, he was graced with episcopal rank because of the holiness of his life and because of the great need of the Church in those overly difficult times.

From Peć he departed by the same route back to Tvrdoš where he was joyfully received by all Orthodox people. Immediately upon arriving in his bishopric he continued his previously started pastoral work. Despite all the dangers that started to threaten again from everywhere, he travels around the diocese and exercise its arch-shepherd service unwaveringly. The main weapon in his work was the Word of God and prayer. The power of his prayer was so great that it had already begun to perform miraculous healings and, in general, show miraculous powers. The people was already perceiving him as a Saint, because many times they were convinced of his holy life and prayer and the gift of foresight which he had received from God. In fact, not only that he was going among people but the people also started coming to him, asking him for help and comfort to themselves in a variety of troubles and temptations of every kind. And Saint was graciously helping everyone with his holy prayers and spiritual lessons, but often also with charity. For the graciousness he was also urging other people, and also for the restoration of holy shrines and monasteries. In such way he moved rich national benefactor Stefan Vladislavić and he, with then abbot of Tvrdoš Veniamin, repaired and brought in order Tvrdoš monastery where he was residing.

At that time, the Turks killed east-Herzegovinian Metropolitan Paisie Trebješanin, whose seat was around Onogost (Nikšić). Serbian patrijarh at Peć at that time was holly Gabriel Rajić (1648-1656), who later suffered as Hieromartyr. He then placed St. Vasilie, former Metropolitan of Zahumlie as a Metropolitan of this vacant eparchy, and about this he wrote his Patriarchal gramat (letter). In the gramat he wrote: “My humbleness is writing to your blessed diocese, called Nikšić, Plana, Kolašinović’s and Morača, to you Venerable abbots, hieromonks and monks, pious archpriests and honorable priests, and to all in God Christ pious Christians, the grace of God and the help of the Holy Serbian enlighteners let be with you all! With this let to all be known that I have given and blessed aforementioned Diocese of Zahumlie, to kir Vasilie, which used to be governed by the late Bishop Maksim and Hieromartyred Bishop Paisie. Receive earnestly aforementioned Bishop and pay him honor as it should be to your lawful Metropolitan to get the blessing and grace of the Lord God and protection of Immaculate Mother of God for you and for your children and Orthodox homes”.

Metropolitan county of eastern Herzegovina, which was also called Mileševska or Petrovska for which is now appointed Saint of God, Vasilie, is in fact the eastern part of the ancient Diocese of Zahumlie because the Patriarch Macarius Sokolović (1557-1574) in his reconstruction of Peć Patriarchate divided Diocese of Zahumlie to the eastern part – Mileševska and the western part – Trebinjska based in Tvrdoš. So, St. Vasilie will take over this eastern, also called metropolitan county of Onogošt, but he hasn’t immediately went to Onogošt (Nikšić), but for some time he governed from the monastery Tvrdoš, where he was residing. After that, he completely crossed to his metropolitan and continued his archpriest work.

At that time, the Turks started to torture even more the Serbian people and to rob their homes through villages, and to take people into slavery. At the forefront where particularly evil Ali-aga’s soldiers. They plundered churches and monasteries and ravaged whole region. Because of that people escaped with fear to refuges, and all where pressed by such misery that even the Israelites in Egypt where not worse off. In those years haughty Herceg’s regional Begh[10] caught all the national leaders and executed them one by one. Even though he enjoyed to spend time in the Monastery of the Holy Apostle Luke in Nikšić region, and even though he also restored the Monastery of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius in the village of Pope near Onogošt, where he was also spending some time, the Saint was forced to move away from his new seat because of pressure from this and other Turkish crimes. Therefore he found a hidden place, in which he intended to seclude himself. This place was a cave in Pješivci under the mountain Zagarača. There, he arranged for himself a cell and wanted to stay there for longer. Having heard for that, elders from the area came to him and advised him that it was better for him to pass to the Monastery of Ostrog, which Saint immediately abided.

He already heard about Ostrog, and about its venturers, especially for the virtuous Prior of the Ostrog, venerable elder Isaiah. This virtuous elder led rigorous ascetic and divine life in a cave above the Upper Monastery of Ostrog. When he passed from this life, God glorified his holy relics, but the Turks soon found them and burned them on fire. On reaching the Holy Monastery of Ostrog, St. Vasilie first stopped at the foot of the Ostrog Mountains, then went to Upper Ostrog and settled in the cave of this venerable ascetic Isaiah. Since then, he has been governing his metropolitan from this place for full fifteen years.

At Ostrog he began to gather around him other monks and ascetics, and with them, he restored the church of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God, which was built earlier by the previous Ostrog’s monks. Later on he raised and ornamented the church of the Holly and life-giving Cross at the Ostrog’s mountain wall, which is then frescoed and which has been preserved to this day. In one word, he tried to turn his Ostrog cave into a real monastery and, like other Orthodox monasteries, to be a cradle of spiritual life for the people. When the fraternity in the monastery has enlarged, he then appointed Isaiah, the grandson of that venerable Isaiah from the village of Pope near Onogošt. The Saint himself had taken upon himself most strenuous feats, for he has imposed on himself an endeavor after endeavor, each harder than the previous. Even though he was building churches and cages, and carrying building stones with his own hands, he was also caring about his diocese and entrusted flock, while in no way diminishing his endeavor of constant godliness, prayerful vigil and asceticism. He was only feeding with fruits and vegetables, and practicing metanias[11,12] and other activities of monastic life. His body was dry, and his face was yellow like wax and he whole was a temple of the Holy Ghost.

Yet, the Saint was not staying in his ascetic cage all the time. From his mountainous spiritual heights he was descending among the people and he shared with them their sufferings as true shepherd. People started coming to him from all sides, in large numbers, and sought his help and spiritual and physical comfort. Even during his life people considered him as a Saint, and that’s why they were pouring to him from all sides. Many at those times have felt the miraculous power of his prayer and were celebrating God for that. Persecuted and maltreated Herzegovinian rayah was running for shelter in front of Turkish crimes to a Saint in Ostrog mountains, and many elderly, women and children stayed for longer with their bishop. And their blessed spiritual father and their pleader before God took care of them with help from surrounding villages.

From his eremitic cave, he kept regular contacts with the Serbian patriarchs in Peć with letter correspondence, and when he could, he was also visiting them. To them, holly bishop was grieving for the great malice of the humans, which was surrounding him. Namely, near the monastery of Ostrog lived a local Knyaz[13], Raic with his six sons, who committed many and great injustices against the Saint and Monastery. About this St. Vasilie wrote in his testimonial letter the following: “I am writing this as confirmation of the truth, so that the Christians know that I spent some time in the Ostrog’s desert, and that I contributed all my efforts there earnestly and all my property, and I haven’t spared anything for the mercy of God and Holly Theotokos. And with some brothers, with the God’s help, reconstructed there what can be seen by all. And many were malicious, but God was helping me in every good deed. And this I write to be known to the church servants who will serve after me to the God and the Holy Virgin at Ostrog, in the cold stones for the warmth of God and also to the Christians after me”.

Due to the violence of Knyaz Raic and the immense evil of the humans, the Saint was thinking of moving from Ostrog to somewhere else, where he would continue his undertakings. He thought at those times to go to the Holy Mountain Atos, but in himself, he felt that this malice was a demon’s deed to interfere with his virtuous undertakings. Besides that, the neighboring Bjelopavlići, led by their priest, Mihail Bošković, begged him not to leave them alone without his gracious help and prayerful protection. The Saint decided not to leave the Ostrog, and suffer injustice to the end. But nevertheless in 1667. he went to the blessed patriarch Maksim in Peć and told him about his and national affairs. The patriarch wrote a letter to the Knyaz Raic and the people of Bjelopavlić, and reminded the people that they should guard and help the Ostrog Monastery, and treating with the curse to anyone who would dare to spite the Saint and the monks.

To this Knyaz Raich Saint Vasilie himself prophesied that, because of the violence that he made towards the monastery, all his sons will die. This prophecy of the Saint has soon fulfilled. Distressed, Knyaz Raich went to Saint father Vasilie and told him about unfortunate death of his sons. Saint comforted Knyaz, and advised him to repent for his sins and the sins of his children. On this occasion he prophesied him that, if he sincerely repents, the Lord will comfort him and will bless him again with great male offspring. This promise of the Saint is soon fulfilled, and the prince again received several male children. Many other foretellings of the Saint were fulfilled during his lifetime, and also many wonders upon his prayers had occurred.

Restless in his hermitic undertakings of prayer, fasting, physical labor, as well as dealing with many issues for the earthly and heavenly goods of his flock, Saint of Ostrog reached slowly to the end of his earthly life. He retired calmly without pain and suffering, easily handing over his soul to the hands of his Lord, on April 29th, 1671, in his cell above the Ostrog hermitage. From the rock, by which he passed away, later grown a single grape vine, although there is no soil in the rock at all. At the time of the Saint’s blissful presentation his cells was glowing with unusual and supernatural light. The body of Saint Vasilie was buried by Ostrog’s monks in a grave beneath the church of the Holy Presentation of the Mother of God.

Soon after the passing of the Saint, people began to come to his grave and to pray to him, as they have been coming to him during his earthly life. And at the grave a number of miracles began to happen, which haven’t stopped in Ostrog until now. Seven years after passing away (1678), Saint appeared in the dream of the head of the St. Luke Monastery in Župa near Nikšić, prior Rafail Kosijerevac, and ordered him to come to Ostrog and open his grave. Prior haven’t given special significance to this dream, and he hasn’t went. The same dream repeated for the second time, but the prior hasn’t obeyed again. For the third time, St. Vasilie came to the prior dressed in bishop’s clothes and with censer in his hands. And while the Saint was incensing, ember was falling out from the censer and burned the prior’s face and hands. Prior then woke up, and, with great fear, told his vision to brotherhood. They agreed then to go to Ostrog monastery. When they came to Ostrog and told the Ostrog monks everything, they firstly started with a strict fast, keeping daily entire prayer rule and serving sacred liturgies. And on the seventh day, after censing Saint’s grave, they opened the tomb. And before them Saint appeared in the glorified body, which was yellow as wax and all smelling as Vasilie. The monks took his holy body, laid him in a reliquary and carried it to the temple of the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God, where his relics are still resting unchanged to this day.

The word about the glorification of Saint Vasili’s body quickly spread through region, and the people started coming to his holy relics in ever increasing numbers. Since then, through the grace of God and the sanctity of St. Vasilie, many glorious miracles took place over his holy and miraculous body which have not ceased to present days. Not only the Orthodox but also other Christians, and even Muslims, have been coming to the great and precious Ostrog’s Sanctity. And, by their faith with the grace of God and St. Vasilie, they’ve been finding consolation and receiving divine help. Among the many devotees who came to the Saint in Ostrog for paying honor was also the last Patriarch of the Serbs in Peć Vasilije Brkic-Jovanovic who, being persecuted by the Turks, found a refuge in Montenegro. At Ostrog he spent six months by the relics of St. Vasilie in prayer and fasting, and on that occasion he compiled the Service and Hagiography of this Saint. And in difficult wartime and post-war years, staying by the Saint, and finding himself a consolation and protection, the presbyter Vasili wrote hymn (1947) to the St. Vasilie, whose manuscript can be found at the Ostrog Monastery.

Even today, the pilgrims are still coming in large numbers from all parts of our country, to the Ostrog’s Saint, regardless of their religion and nationality. They come also from abroad. By the Saint’s chest prayers are made both in our and in foreign languages. Many bring children to be baptized right in front of the Saint’s relics, and many are giving their children name Vasilie (Vasilie), and many are getting married here, or confess and commune, or ask for prayers for health, for healing, for salvation. Many presents and contributions are brought to the Holy Father in Ostrog, but the greatest ones are sacrifices of sincere repentance and purification of the heart before God and St. Vasilie. Even the non-Orthodox respect him, and mention his name with veneration. Before the merciful Saint of Ostrog, all the Serbian generations, spiritual descendants of Saint Sava, are pouring out all their sorrows and pains, and making warm prayers for their living and deceased relatives. Every day, from near and far away, the worshipers rush towards the Saint, prepared beforehand by fasting and prayers, so that before his sacred chest, they would come out, weep, confess and ask for blessing. In addition to regular fasts, the people are taking special votive fasts, which have been known as “week of St. Father Vasilie”. This is especially true ahead of his holiday, Day of St. Vasilie. Sometimes people would pledge or give oath in font of Saint’s relics. The pilgrimage trips of the people to the Ostrog began even for the earthly life of St. Vasilie and, after the glorifications of his holy relics, they never ceased to this day. In addition to St. Vasilie’s Day, the convocation days in Ostrog are the Pentecost, St. Peter’s Day, day of St. Elijah, The Dormition of the Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. At those days in Ostrog, there are ten to twenty thousand pious devotees.

As the Saint didn’t have peace for his earthly life, prosecuted by many enemies of God and from the chief enemy of human salvation – the devil, so his holy relics have not remain spared by the unholy. So, for the first time, the monks of Ostrog had to hide the relics of Saint Vasilie in 1714, when Numan-pasha Ćuprilić was plundering through Montenegro. The monks then buried the Saints’ relics bellow the lower monastery by the Zeta River. They remained buried there for a whole year. The river flooded this resting place, but the water miraculously has not touched the chest or his body. The second time, it was at the time of the siege of Ostrog monastery by Omer-pasha in the winter of 1852. Omer-pasha then surrounded the Montenegrins at the Upper Monastery, and the siege lasted for nine days. Only thirty Montenegrins, led by the great duke Mirko Petrovic, the father of Montenegrin King Nikola, bravely defended the Monastery from the Turks. When they finally, with the help of St. Vasilie, repelled the Turks, they held service in appreciation for the mercy of God, the Most Holy Mother of God and St. Vasilie at the church of Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God. After that the Montenegrins took the Saint with them and brought him to Cetinje, and laid him in the church of the Birth of the Most Holly Theotokos, next to the relics of St. Peter of Cetinje[14]. St. Vasilie’s relics remained in Cetinje until the spring of 1853, when they were again returned to Ostrog. In that war, the Ostrog monastery would be robbed and burned by the Turks, and many of the valuables of the Ostrog, as well as the documents from the time of the Saint, have disappeared and been ruined. For the third time, the relics of the Saint from Ostrog have been carried over in the war of 1876-7, and again to Cetinje, where they stayed for about a year. With a great ceremony they were returned to Ostrog in 1878. In February 1942, during the bombing of the Ostrog with enemy shells, the monks were afraid that the shells would demolish the church of the Holly Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God, where the Saint was resting, and transferred his holy body into a small cave in the wall behind the monastery. This fear has proven to be unnecessary. Because, even though, grenades were flying, falling around the monastery and bursting, they did not cause any harm to the monastery, nor any of the brethren have been hurt. The Saint was then, as before and today watching over his brotherhood.

Respect of our people towards this Godly man is reflected in raising many temples in his honor in the country and abroad. In particular, a beautiful temple was erected in his city Onogost (Niksic) in 1935 a hospital was opened in Belgrade under the name of Saint Vasilie Ostrosky (St. Vasilie of Ostrog). In the church of St. Emperor Constantine and Helen on Vozdovac his holy omophorion [15] has been kept. Most of all, St. Vasilie is celebrated at the Ostrog monastery, where, as we have said, many devotees gather from all over our country. To the Ostrog one goes fearfully and piously by foot, from the Lower to the Upper Monastery. From Ostrog people are bringing holly water, oil and incense, antidoron, or wad of cotton from the Saint’s chest. To the Saint are brought sick people of various and incurable illnesses, and the Saint will heal them mercifully and heal them both from the illness of soul and body. This is evidenced by numerous crutches, chains, and stretches and precious gifts left to the Sanctuary in Ostrog in gratitude for miraculous healings and recoveries. About many of these healings, from mental illnesses, madness and possession, testifies records in the monastery books, and even more indelible records in the hearts of the faithful. Many of these miracles of St. Vasilie people are being spreading by word throughout our country. Few of those miracles, and only from the newest ones, we will mention here.

In February 1942, during the bombing of Ostrog monastery, a shell from a German gun struck a stone wall above the Upper Monastery, breaking the door on the Church of the Holy Cross, but, miraculously, it hasn’t exploded. From the fall, grenade split in two, the fuze fell to one, and the explosive filling to the other side of the church stone floor. Upon later examination it was found that the shell was in order and as such it was supposed to explode. It is obvious to everyone that the Saint did not allow it, because it would cause great damage to the sacred church and his monks. This shell is still preserved today at the Upper Monastery.

One craftsman from Nikšić area become seriously ill ending been paralyzed. There was no medication. His family advised him to go to Ostrog to St. Vasilie, but he immediately rejected it because he was an atheist, an unbeliever. After a while, Saint Vasilie appeared to him in a dream and invited him to come to Ostrog to him and he would heal him. After thinking about it for a long time, he finally decided, and agreed to be taken to the monastery. When he came to the monastery, he confessed, and that night he spent by the Saint’s coffin, where prayers have been read. After a short while he was completely cured, and from gratitude to the Saint he gave his eldest son name Vasilie.

In September 1956, for pilgrimage to St. Vasilie came Drago Džabarkapa from the village Vrulje, near Pljevlja, and said: “Two years ago, I was very sick having stomach pains. I spoke to doctors in Pljevlja, Prijepolje and Sarajevo – Doctors were in doubt about my illness. In the end they found out that it was ulcer. The doctors suggested that I come to the hospital and to stay there for 20 days, and then, with written consent of me and my parents, I will be operated. Despite the strong pains that were becoming intolerable, I did not agree to the operation. I went home, and as soon as I came In I lay in bed from which I couldn’t move. In March of the same year, while being in bed, I had an unusual dream: Namely, I dreamt to be traveling by a road, unknown to me at all. Because of the unknown path, I felt huge fear, which doubled, when I turned to a small cave that was filled with darkness. Suddenly, an unknown man appeared inside, and he asked me: Why are you crying? I answered that I was afraid because I have no one with me. Then he told me to go with him. And I went. Traveling with him, I came to one small door, which were closed. An unknown man opened them and we both entered inside. The room was beautiful and very bright, although I never saw any lamp. Then he said to me, “Here is where you will sleep over, this is the home of St. Vasilie.” After these words, I woke up, deeply shaken by what I had dreamt of. I immediately told the dream to my parents, who agreed that I should go to Ostrog immediately. So, with my mother, although severely ill and exhausted, I went for the first time to Ostrog. Once there I spent two nights by the Saint, with daily prayers. I was immediately better and after two days, almost completely healthy, I went cheerfully, and healthy, to my home. And the joy of my parents was infinite. Because of gratitude to the Holy Father Vasilie I came here this year also with my uncle Daša Cmiljanić and my mother Milia. I always pray to God and St. Vasilie to keep me safe, me and all of my family, from any harm”.

In August 1957, to the Upper Monastery arrived a badly ill young woman, which was in this condition for some time, named Lena Junčaj, from the village of Druma near Tuzi. She was brought here by her husband Leko and brother in law, Nua. She was so sick that they carried her from a train station all the way to the Ostrog with great effort. Upon their arrival to the Upper Monastery, they immediately entered the church and approached St. Vasilie. They asked for the healing prayers to be made for patient. After the prayer has been made, they asked for their patient to stay for a while, and to lay by the relics. The patient fell asleep by the sacred chest and slept for nearly two hours. Then they woke her up and went to their home. The patient obviously felt better. Upon her arrival at home, the patient suddenly felt the upcoming of strength and she soon recovered completely. After a few days, from her brother-in-low, who was more literate than the patient’s husband, a letter arrived in which Nua informed that his sister-in-law was completely cured. All of them where grateful to God and Saint Vasilie.

Vera J, a young girl from Bar area, employed as a civil servant, suddenly fell ill in 1950, from serious nervous breakdown and as such was not fit for any work. Concerned parents were taking her to doctors all over the area and they were seeking help of the best neurologists at clinics in Belgrade and Zagreb, but, unfortunately, without success. Her condition deteriorated sharply each day. When all hope was lost that the girl would ever recover, her mother decided, hiding from neighbors, to bring her to Ostrog. She set off in the beginning of winter of the same year. Whit great effort they walked from Lower to Upper Monastery. The girl was overwhelmed with exhaustion and she was twitching like possessed, intending to go back. With great effort they led her to the Upper Monastery, where the guardian of chest read the prayer for the healing of such patients. That night they spent at the Upper Monastery. The next day, the girl woke up completely healthy, to the great surprise and joy of her mother and everyone present. She returned cheerfully and with ease to her house, and in a few days she continued her previous job.

Radomir Pantović from the village of Gradac on July 13th, 1961, in the Upper Monastery, told his own case. In 1929, I was seriously ill, and because of this illness I lost the power of speech. All my efforts to get help and to restore my speech were in vain. Then my father decided to lead me to Ostrog. With the great effort of my father and with my own, we arrived at the Upper Monastery, where we approached the Saint. There, the monk made prayers for me. After the prayers have been made I lay down and fell asleep in the church, when I woke up, I was completely healthy. I wasn’t feeling any pain and, to my great joy, I could speak. They were not little surprised, monk and my father, as well as others present there. After that, all of us jointly thanked God and Saint Vasilie, who gave me health. With my father, I went back home healthy and cheerful. The following year I came back to thank the Saint, which now, after thirty years, I am still doing, and I will keep doing it as long as I am in life and able to. I will be coming to Ostrog, to give thanks and gratitude to the great miracle worker, St. Vasilie.

During the summer months, many pious people are comming to Ostrog monastery for pilgrimage to St. Vasilie. And on August 4th, 1961, Slavko Jovanović from Sarajevo was among others and he told about the events of his brother’s healing. – “My brother, whose name is Radivoje, was a difficult mental patient, in reality and formally he was crazy. He got sick sometime during 1948. He spent about 5-6 months in the Sarajevo hospital, but without any improvement and hope for recovery. My parents intended to take him out of the hospital and to bring him here to Ostrog, to St. Vasilie. Although the doctors did not like the idea, they released him anyway. May be that they were glad that they will get rid of one heavy patient even for a short time. My parents tied up my sick brother and took him to Ostrog, believing that they will find help there. When they brought him here to the Upper Monastery by the relics of Saint Vasilie, the prayers and anointment have been made, after which he was immediately better. They removed ropes from his hands, and the next day they returned to home joyous, grateful to the St. Vasilie who blessed them with health. When they arrived home, in our place Zubac (near Sarajevo), all the locals and family were astonished to see Radivoje healthy and sane. Radivoje later married and now has his own family. He is a carpenter now. He continually glorifies and praises God and His divine St. Vasilie of Ostrog”. And so, even now amazed by that miracle of God, Slavko Jovanović ends his story.

Each year in Ostrog, at least once, one young man can be seen, highly educated, employed as a lawyer in a large company, where he rushes to the Upper Monastery to express his gratitude to St. Vasilie for his healing. Here’s what he says, Bozidar Celebic, from Belgrade. – “At the beginning of 1961, I was seriously ill, and I was treated in a hospital for full four months, but without success and with little hope for healing. At the time I was lying in a hospital and struggling with severe illness, my friend Aleksandar Dž at the request of my deeply faithful mother came to Ostrog Monastery and, for my healing, he finished the consecration of ointment. At the same time, when he was attending the consecration of ointment for me, I felt some strange lightness and improvement of my health. Soon, to everyone surprise, I asked for a release from the hospital. In my request, I was very persistent, so doctors had to fulfill my request, although they believed that I would not live for long. Today, with my friend Aleksandar I came to Ostrog to pray to God and to thank to St. Vasilie that I’m completely healthy” finishes Božidar Čelebić.

Many worshipers who are not able to bring their sick to the Saint bring their clothes and leave it under the reliquary of the Saint for at least one night there. In addition to clothes, they bring food, usually sugar cubes, and do the same way. On that occasion, the guardian of relics makes prayers over those objects. When they return, they take the sanctified things and bring them to the sick, believing that St. Vasilie will help them in this way. And it really helps, which will be seen from the next case. On August 15th 1962, in the Upper Monastery, Božidar Šijaković and his wife, Slavka, said: “Our son, Vidomir, was seriously ill with a headache, from which he has been suffering for two years. We have sought help from many doctors and visited many hospitals, and the doctors gave him various medications and injections, but everything was of no avail, the headache did not disappear. Last year, my mother in low, Ilinka Novaković, went to Ostrog for pilgrimage and prayers to the Saint. On that occasion we gave her a kilo of sugar cubes so that she puts it near the relics and for prayers to be made for Vidomir’s health. When she returned home she brought us the sugar. We were giving this sugar to Vidomir for a few days, believing that, as a thing consecrated in Ostrog, will help him. We do not know how and in what way, but we know this: he completely recovered and since then his head never hurt again. We came to thank God and St. Vasilie, who healed our son”.

In the month of December 1962, to St. Vasilie approached a man from Bar with his old mother. He asked the hieromonk, the guardian of the holy relics, to read him prayers for health. After completing the prayers, a man whose face expressed inner suffering and some strange distress, with noticeable tears on his face, addressed the priests, saying, “Father, I am an long time alcoholic, I spent all my earnings on alcohol, beside that I lived a messy, filthy life. I haven’t taking or respecting anyone’s advice. Day before yesterday I came home from one such journey just before the dark, and I immediately went for a sleep. During the night, whether it was a dream or a reality, I cannot explain it, the figure came out in front of me, which, I understood, was St. Vasilie, and he said to me: Why are you doing that? Why do you live such a life? Why don’t you get better”? Then he said to me: “Go to Ostrog Monastery, and in front of me give promise that you will not drink again and live disgracefully”! Then the figure disappeared. Since then that appearance and those words haven’t been off my mind nor do I had any peace. Something compelled me constantly and whispered continuously: go, do what you have been ordered. I could not stand it anymore, and here I came to pray to God and give a promise to St. Vasilie right here that I will never again become drunk and that I will live my life in decency. Let me father tell you something more: When I, back home, made decision to go to Ostrog and give my solemn vow, I felt some inexpressible joy and strength. And also: To my decision to go to Ostrog, my mother was most surprised and welcoming, who, with tears in her eyes, went on her knees and said, “Glory and gratefulness to You, the Great Ostrog’s Saint, when you showed mercy and looked upon my home”. – Leaving from Ostrog, he left as another man. Sadness has been replaced with happiness and anxiety with serenity. When leaving, He said: “From today, me and my home, will celebrate God and St. Vasilie, as best as we know, we pray that the Lord will help us and protect us from any malice”.

On 6th of May, 1964, Muslims Asib Guso and Shevka Zajko brought a severely ill, also Muslim woman, Fatima. Fatima was in a difficult state. She suffered from some terrible cramps through her whole body for full five years. From pains she would get unconscious, sometimes shouting on and reviling their loved ones in agony. In those five years of severe illness, which went into insanity, they visited many doctors, sorceress and herbalists, but they haven’t found medicine or any relief. They heard for the healings of such diseases in Ostrog, so the sick Fatima was brought by her cousin Asib and neighbor Ševka, to the Upper Monastery. When they brought her near the church, in which the body of St. Vasilie was lying, the sick woman shouted out, “I will not go in there.” She repeated that several times, with a crazy twitching wanting to go back. The guardian opened the church to them, and also St. Vasilie’s reliquary and he helped to bring the sick person to the Saint. With great effort, eventually they succeeded. The relatives of patient finally managed to convince her to osculate the Saint, which she did. At that moment, she started to twitch terribly and to tremble so that it was horrifying to watch. As she calmed down a bit, they read prayers for the patient. Upon finishing prayers, she was engulfed by even worse anguish and twitches, from which she was sweating so much, that, after a short while, she was all wet. Unexpectedly, in front all of us, she suddenly got overcame with peace and tranquility, which could be clearly seen on her face. After calming down completely, she kneeled in front of Saint and began to pray. After a while she said to all of us: “Thank God and Saint Vasilie, I am all right now, there is no pain anymore”. After saying that she started kissing the chest of a Saint. Everyone present, amazed by this grace of God, thanked the God and His disciple for this miraculous healing. That night, the patient spent peacefully in Ostrog, and with sun rising she was first to came to the morning prayers, to once again glorify the God, who blessed her upon the prayers of St. Vasilie.

In July 1964, to the relics of St. Vasilie approached the Vicar Varnava (Barnaby). After showing respect to the Saint, he told us the case of his healing by the holly water from Ostrog. When he told us this event, we asked him to put down his case of healing in writing. That’s what he did. This is his letter. – “I was in the fourth grade of the high school. It was in the winter of 1929. In Sarajevo there was an epidemic of scarlet fever, and it was a few days before St. Nicholas (St. Nicolas of Myra), our family’s Slava[16,17]. We were hastily prepearing for celebration. My mother was baking brownies and preparing cod. Our house was adhering to the holy rules and rites, and my father was ready rather not to celebrate than to brake fasting on the St. Nicholas day. And then a thunder struck from the clear sky. That day, I barely returned from school, and I immediately lay in bed. But allready tomorrow morning, ambulance vehicle drove me to the hospital. It was scarlet fever. All house turned upside-down. People came to the door and put a sign with the inscription: “Infectious Disease” .The sign depicted a skull, a sign of a deadly danger for the visitors. That year my house was gloomy for the St. Nicholas day. The house was locked up. The only concern of my family was my health, my life. I was the most difficult patient at the whole infectious department, they had to tie me up. I wanted to jump out of the window in the delirium and the fever. When the doctors thought that everything was finished and lost, they allowed my mother to come in with me in the last hours of my earthly life. When my mother came, I haven’t recognized her. I’ve already received a camphor injection. Last help. And then, when the nurses and medics went away and my mother remained alone with me, she pulled out one small bottle from her purse. In it was the holy water from Ostrog. Deeply, warmly and devastatingly, as only a mother can. My dear mother prayed to God and the Holy Mother of God and the Holly Miracle-Worker of Ostrog. I could not raise myself. My mother watered me three times by the holy water, the gift of St. Vasilie of Ostrog. I opened my eyes. I recognized my dear parent and my beloved, my tearful prayer. She helped me to rise and to cross. Together we said Our Father, and then I fell into a sweet, rebounding sleep that brought me health and life to this day. That’s how St. Miracle-Worker Vasilie of Ostrog did what all medicine could not do”.

Housewife from Bar, R. Z. told following: “In June 1953, my acquaintance and neighbor received guests, a friend of her from Belgrade, the wife of general practitioner Dr. M. N. She also brought with her 13-year-old son, who suffered from infantile paralysis. All the means of modern medicine were used by parents for the treatment of their child, but all that hasn’t helped him at all. The boy was barely moving with the help of special crutches and without them he could not make one step. The parents were desperate because of the state of their child. By the advice of some of her friends, which were belonging to the Christian community, mother went to Ostrog with her sick child, as a last resort to seek medicine for her paralyzed son. In early July 1953 they arrived in Ostrog, where they stayed for two days. During this time, the responsible Hieromonk made a prayer several times over the boy in front of the relics of St. Vasilie. When they decided to return to their home, the young man felt lightness in his legs, which he, with great joy, told his mother. The improvement was obvious, because, until then severely ill boy, without much effort, descended down to Lower Monastery. When they came to the Lower Monastery, the liturgy was in progress. After the service finished, in front of the monastery, before all the pilgrims present, he left the crutches and without any difficulty headed towards the railway station. Later from Belgrade they wrote that the boy was completely healthy and that he continued his education.

Eighteen-year-old girl Danica S. from the village of P. in the vicinity of Zrenjanin, suddenly fell mentally ill. They immediately sought a help from a doctors. But every effort of doctors to help her was in vain. Her day-to-day situation was worse and unbearable, not only for parents but also for neighbors. In order not to disturb the neighborhood, the only way was to put the girl in a mental hospital. But before she was placed in a mental hospital, the girl’s father decided to try one last thing, that is, to bring her to the Ostrog monastery, regardless of the fact that the road is long and hard and burdened with high costs. In June 1958, a father with a daughter, whose hands were tied with a strong rope, set off to Ostrog monastery. He wasn’t regretting money and effort just to find help for his sick daughter. After a strenuous journey with a heavily sick woman, they arrived at the Lower Monastery, and from there they continued by foot to the Upper Monastery. When they approached the Upper Monastery, on a father’s great surprise, the girl told her father completely normally that she feels better, asking him to free her from the ties. The father did it, because he noticed that his daughter speaks normally and has a normal look on her face. Filled with thankfulness and gratitude to God and Saint Vasilie, the father brought the healed daughter to the relics of the Saint. He asked the priest, the guardian of relics, to read for her the prayer for healing. After the prayer was completed, the girl told her father, to his ineffable joy, that she feels completely healthy, and asked him to give a contribution to the sacred relics for her miraculous and quick healing.

Every year, on the eve of St. Apostle Luka’s day in the Holy Ostrog, in the Upper Monastery, can be seen an elderly man, who is still in excellent shape and with his burly physique he has successfully carried on his shoulders almost eight decades. This eighty-year-old, whenever possible, comes to Ostrog to pray to God. However, the day before the St. Luka he never misses, and without great awe and prayerful ardour does not approach the relics of St. Vasilie, to show gratitude for his recovery in youth from a severe illness, and through it brought him to the recognition of God. He is, in the region where he lives, well-known and prominent man, Petar (Peter) Koprivica.

This year, on the eve of St. Luka, just before the evening, into the office of the Lower Monastery entered Mr. Petar, and, as he greeted everyone present, he said that he was coming from the Upper Monastery. After sitting, he said: “Today, Father, it’s exactly 50 years, from the day when I was, seriously ill, brought to the St. Vasilie”. Having heard these words and burning from curiosity to hear from Peter himself about what I read somewhere, I asked him to tell us in detail about his miraculous healing. Indulging the wishes of all those present, Peter started his story without holding anything back: “In my youth I belonged to, progressive stream, as it was considered at that time, and I have not believe in anything. I rejected every faith in God. In the help of Saints I did not believe either. I was the well-known scoundrel of the name of God, and I cursed and made fun of the sanctities. But God did not allow me to stay long in such a grave iniquity for a long time. In January 1920 I became seriously ill. My illness was unbearable, not only for me but for my family too. In these troubles instead of turning to God, I was becoming ever more blasphemous to God. In vain, my parents, my brothers and sisters, were discouraging me from the cursing and the blasphemy. My state worsened every day, and in the end, my whole body started cramping and bending. My struggle was futile and I wasted money going from Doctor to Doctor, from herbalist to herbalist, without finding any help, On the contrary, my pains were heavy and unbearable. My close ones lost every hope that I would ever recover.

During these unbearable pains, they were often advising me to go to Ostrog, to St. Vasilie. While I could withstand suffering, I wasn’t listening to such advices, because I did not believe in it. But, pressed with pains and long attachment to the bed, I agreed to go to Ostrog. With great difficulties right on this day, my younger brother Luka brought me to the Upper Monastery. I approached the Saint, and then I went outside to rest a little. Young Hieromonk Boris Kazanegra (now the prior of the Praskvice monastery), finding out details about my illness, comforted me with the words that the Lord and St. Vasilie would regain my health if I firmly believed and prayed earnestly. Then, by the Saint’s relics, he read out healing prayers and finished the evening prayers. I spent the night in the church and on my joy, that very night I felt great relief. The next day, I come down to Lower Monastery and here – pointing his hand at a church, – they finished anointment. After this I return home to Nikšić with reduced and tolerable pain. Such a situation lasted for several days until one day I entered the workshop and saw that one of my younger brother Đorđija (Georgia) haven’t finished certain task properly. Then, by my evil habit, angry at my brother, I began to insult the name of God and His Saints. And, o miracle! At the same time, I was caught with pains, much stronger than before going to Ostrog. At that moment I was convinced, firmly and definitely, that there was a God who punishes and rewards. I was repenting with tears for insulting the mercy of God. But tears were not enough to wash my sins and my arrogance. My state worsened every day and became increasingly desperate. In that state I spent full four months. My nerves were just burning. I had the feeling that something is burning in me and on me. In addition, the inflammation of the nerves completely contracted me, so I could not separate my head from my knees. In those inexpressible pains I entered into spring. Something dragged me to Ostrog. That was also the desire of my close ones. And as soon as winter loosened, my younger brother Philip, seated me on a horse, and on Theodore’s Saturday, at night, I arrived to the Upper Monastery. There, they read again prayers for me and finished night service. As day broke of the First Sunday of the Great Lent, I went down to the Lower Monastery to the Sacred Liturgy, where I done communion. After this, thanks to the mercy of God, those severe and unbearable pains disappeared. I could slowly move. It gave me strength and rebuke my wish to go to the monastery Ždrebaonik [18], to bow to St. Arseny[19]. God gave me strength to fulfil that desire. From the Ždrebaonik I returned home. The pains were not completely gone, but they were tolerable. But now I was cautious not to insult God again with anything. In the grace and punishment of God I never doubted again. I tried to live following the law of God. I fasted the fasts, visited the church, and often begged the priests to read me prayers for complete healing. And as more pious my life was becoming, better my condition got, but I could not straight myself for a long time.

At those days, I wanted to go to the Holly Ostrog once more. This time my sister came with me. And on this occasion, in front of St. Vasilie they made prayers for me. After that moment, I’ve felt completely healthy. I warmly thanked God and the Saint for healing, and on my feet I returned home as being born again with my soul and body. Since then, this disease has never returned again. This true story occurred in 1922. I’m always grateful to St. Vasilie for my healing, and also I’m grateful for that he, through illness, brought me to repentance”- Peter completes his story. “And those iron gates, at the Upper Monastery, they say that it is your contribution to the St. Vasilie’s Monastery, as a sign of gratitude for healing”, I added to Peter. “Yes, when the old monastery was burnt down, said Peter, I long begged the then head of the monastery, Father Leontie, to allow me that I do something for the Upper Monastery with my own hands, as a gift for the St. Vasilie, for my healing. He allowed me, so I made those iron gates, which are still standing there”.

It was in 1940 that bishop Nikolai asked the Very Rev. Jovan Bošković from Orja Luka (municipality of Danilovgrad), “Do you believe, Reverend Father, that God’s saints live”? 

“How can I not believe that, when they have themselves appeared to me and witnessed that they are living”!

One day my wife asked me to go to Ostrog with an offerings for some misfortune that had occurred in our family. I was somewhat grieved and angry. “What should I bring”, I asked, “Leave those dead bones in the Ostrog cave to rest in peace! It is the living you ought to turn to for help”!  The day has passed.

That night I had a vision of St. Vasilie. He struck me with his staff and shouted at me, full of wrath, “I am alive, not dead as you think! And be not faithless, but believing”! In great fear I jumped from my bed and asked ma wife for the offerings she prepared for my pilgrimage. I immediately went to Ostrog and took the offerings to St. Vasilie. Since then I have been firm in my belief that God’s Saints are living, not dead!”

Of second miraculous occurrence which took place in Ostrog, the Very Rev. Jovan Bošković rarely spoken and even then, only to his closest friends. His experience was documented by Maksim Jovović:

“Early at dawn one morning”, recounted the old priest, “I had sent my altar server to bring some food which was needed from the Lower Monastery. I ordered him not to tarry and to ring the bell for matins as soon as he had brought the food. At that time, except for myself, there was no one else at the Upper Monastery.

I walked out in front of the monastery to enjoy the fresh morning air and to listen to the songs of the many birds that dwell in this wonderful, far-off place.

Then I took the key to the little church in which the case containing the holy relics is kept and opened it. I blessed myself with the sign of the cross and stood petrified, for I saw the Saint sitting up and leaning against the lid of the case. I started trembling and, as it was still dark, I rubbed my eyes. Then I heard a clear, resonant voice saying, “Come hither father, and do not fear!” I came closer to the Reliquary, fell to my knees and kissed the saint’s hand.

He made me stand and spoke to me, with a sweet look on his face. We spoke of many things for about half an hour. Then he said to me, “Now you can lock up the church and go out to prepare for matins!” I kissed his hand again and the panagia on his breast and went out.

The altar server came back at that moment, rang the bells, and after some ten minutes we went into the church together with some newly arrived pilgrims. The holy reliquary was closed and we venerated it as usual. The matins service began and when it ended we went out. I was confused and somewhat saddened the whole day and told no one of what I had seen.

The next day I told some brother priests in the Lower Monastery what had happened and I thanked God and St. Vasilie for having bestowed upon me, a sinner, the great honor of such a miraculous and rare conversation. This happened to me only once in all my 40 years of serving in the monastery. I have nourished the remembrance of his miraculous occurrence all my life as my most wonderful, significant and unforgettable memory.”

With the prayers of Our Holy Father Vasilie, the newly-glorified Wonderworker of Ostrog, let the Lord bless and save all Orthodox Christians and all His people. Amen!

On the day of our St. Father Vasilie we also mention Holly Neomartyr Stanko the Shepherd

Little boy Stanko, who was a shepherd in the Nikšić region of Montenegro, was killed by the Turks next to his herd for the Christian faith on September 15th 1712. His holy and incorrupt relics – two glorified children’s hands, rest in the Upper Monastery of Ostrog in the Church of the Holy Cross, where St. Vasilie of Ostrog was undertaking his divine ascetic feats. The record of Stanko’s martyrdom was kept in Upper Ostrog (in a reliquary where his holy and incorrupt hands are resting).

[1] Saint Sava – 

[2] Zavala Monastery – 

[3] Tvrdoš Monastery – 

[4] Rayah – 

[5] Nemanjić dinasty – 

[6] Moračica Monastery – 

[7] Đurđevi Stupovi – 

[8] Hilandar – 

[9] Hilandar – 

[10] Begh –

[11] Metania –

[12] Prostration – 

[13] Knyaz  –

[14] St. Peter of Cetinje – 

[15] Omophorion – 

[16] Крсна слава –

[17] Крсна слава –

[18] Ždrebaonik Monastery – 

[19] St. Arseny of Srem – 

[20] Serbian Alphabet –