Thousands of Serbs came out to honor new saint

Moscow, May 31, 2017

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About 10,000 people visited St. Gabriel Monastery in Tuman, Serbia, 75 miles east of Belgrade, on Sunday, May 28, to honor the memory of the newly-proclaimed saint, Venerable Jacob of New Tuman, who was one of several saints officially proclaimed at the lastest meeting of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, held May 14-24. The act of canonization was read out during the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archbishop George of Košice (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia), reports

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St. Jacob (in the world Dr. Radoe Arsović) was born in 1894 near the village of Kosici, not far from the city of Ivanjica. Upon finishing middle school, Radoe, desiring to continue his education, headed for France, where he received a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Sorbonne and a doctorate in law from the University of Montpelier. Having completed his degrees, he took up diplomatic work, representing the interests of France to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In the 1930s, while visiting the Serbian Vrnjačka Banja resort, by the will of God the future saint found himself at a meeting of representatives of the Serbian lay movement Bogomoljacki Pokret (Movement of God-Prayers). Radoe was fascinated by the teachings of St. Nikolai Velimirovic and the priests who participated in the movement, but he was most moved by his meetings with simple Serbian peasants. Feeling God’s grace, Radoe left secular life and began to implore St. Nikolai to receive him as a novice, to which St. Nikolai eventually agreed.

Radoe undertook all possible obediences. Despite holding two doctorates, he did not disdain such work as cleaning toilets, peeling potatoes, and so on. Living in strict asceticism, he ate very little, often using that which was discarded by others. He owned just two worn-out cassocks and never slept on a bed, and did not cease praying even when resting. He had the exceptional gift of silence.

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Before World War II, the saint worked as the editor of the Serbian Orthodox publication “Christian Missionary.” Before and during the war St. Jacob was a passionate preacher of the faith, laboring with apostolic fervor. Possessing many spiritual gifts, he acquired the gift of clairvoyance, foretelling, among other things, the bombing of Belgrade and the Žiča monastery.

During the war, he lived in Ljubostinja Monastery in Prnjavor, where they still remember him as a great ascetic. Tortured by the communists, he ended his earthly life as a confessor in February 1946 in the village of Rabrovo. He was buried in the Tuman monastery according to his will, where his holy remains were found on October 21, 2014. Since then there have been many testimonies of healings thanks to prayers to the new saint of God.

St. Jacob of New Tuman will be annually commemorated on August 8/21.

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