Translation of the relics of St. Nicholas (Velimirovich) of Ochrid and Zhicha from America to Serbia
He was a man of compunctionate prayer, and possessesed the gift of tears which purify the soul (St John Climacus, LADDER, Step 7). He was a true pastor to his flock protecting them from spiritual wolves, and guiding them on the path to salvation. He has left behind many soul-profiting writings which proclaim the truth of Christ to modern man. In them he exhorts people to love God, and to live a life of virtue and holiness. May we also be found worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven through the prayers of St Nicholas, and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever. Amen.
On Saturday 17 March 1956, Bishop Nicholas served his last Liturgy. After the service, he went to the refectory and gave a short talk. As he was leaving, he bowed low and said, “Forgive me, brothers”. This was unusual, something which he had not done before. Like the brilliant autumn leaves of dying nature, so too, as Bishop Nicholas finished his earthly days, his face was transformed, bearing a stamp of that other world where ‘‘the just shine like the stars”. On 5/18 March 1956, Bishop Nicholas fell asleep in the Lord, Whom he had served throughout his life. He was found in his room kneeling in an attitude of prayer. Though he was buried at St Sava Monastery in Libertyville outside Chicago, he had always expressed a desire to be buried in his homeland. In April of 1991, his relics were transferred to the Cetinje Monastery in Lelich. There, he was buried next to his friend and disciple Fr Justin Popovich (+1979). On 19 May 2003, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church recognised Bishop Nicholas Velimirović of Ochrid and Zhicha as a saint and entered his name into the church calendar.
TROPARION TO ST. NIKOLAI Velimirovich
Thy righteous acts have revealed thee to thy flock
As a model of frith, a reflection of humility
And a teacher of abstinence, O Father Bishop Nikolai;
Therefore, through humility thou hast obtained exaltation and through poverty, riches;
Pray to Christ God to save our souls.
ANOTHER TROPARION TO ST. NIKOLAI
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 Nikolai, was purified in captivity by the godless,
Demonstrating thy commitment to the truth and thy people;
Therefore, O venerable Bishop, thou hast attained the crown of eternal life.