A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic)

The First Serbian Bishop of America and Canada
Bishop Mardarije was born in Podgorica on December 22, 1889, his father, Pero, being a tribal captain and mother Jela, nee Bozovic. He finished elementary school in Cetinje where he started high school, continuing in Belgrade. Leaving high school in his fifth year, he went to Studenica Monastery. In 1906, with the blessing of Bishop Sava (Barac) of Zica, he took monastic vows and was ordained a deacon. He graduated from the Seminary in Kisenjev where a collection of his sermons was published. From here he went to St. Petersburg, graduating from the Theological Academy in 1916.

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As a theological student Hieromonk Mardarije, at the behest of the Holy prisoners' camps in Siberia, Turkestan and Bukhara. On this journey he delivered lectures and talked to prisoners of Slav extraction from Austro-Hungary.

In 1917 the Russian Orthodox Church sent Synkell Mardarije to America to organize the Serbian Orthodox Church. Here he served as head of the Serbian Mission, and at the Cleveland Conference of the Russian Metropolitanate he was elected the Serbian Bishop. But Archimandrite Mardarije did not wish to accept episcopal consecration without the knowledge and approval of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Homeland. Instead, he returned to his country and became head of Rakovica Monastery and Rector of its Monastic School. Here he remained until early 1923 when he returned to America as Administrator of the American-Canadian Diocese, holding this office until elected the first Serbian Bishop of America and Canada.

The election of Archimandrite Mardarije as Bishop of America and Canada occurred when he was in fairly poor health, so that he could not travel to Belgrade.

Archimandrite Mardarije was consecrated Bishop in the Orthodox Cathedral in Belgrade on April 25, 1926 by Patriarch Dimitrije and the Bishop Danilo of Dalmatia and Istria and Bishop Serafim of Zletovo and Strumica. Also present at the Consecration and Liturgy was Gordon Paddock, Charge d'Affaires at the American Embassy in Belgrade.

Bishop Mardarije arrived in his Diocese in New York on July l/14, notifying Patriarch Dimitrije of this by telegram, and sent his first Report to the patriarch in early September, 1926.

In his first hierarchic message to the clergy and people Bishop Mardarije acknowledged all, including the deceased, "who had worked for the welfare of the Serbian Church in America."

A wide range of activities awaited the first Serbian bishop in America and Canada. Bishop Mardarije did not spare himself nor did he fear work, though he knew he was gravely ill. Bishop Mardarije convened the first National Church Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox American-Canadian Diocese with his Fourth Archpastoral Message for September l, 192 7 at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, on the basis of the Resolution adopted at the National Assembly in Chicago on May 29, 1927.

Bishop Mardarije died on December 12, 1935 and was buried on December 18, 1935 at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, which, together with the Serbian people, he had built at great sacrifice and superhuman effort.

Source: Bishop Sava of Sumadija, History of the Serbian Orthodoc Church in America and Canada: 1891-1941, Kragujevac 1998.


People Directory

Rastko Petrović

Rastko Petrović (Belgrade, 1898 – Washington, D.C., 1949), poet, novelist, travel writer, essayist, etnographer, giffted sketcher, camerman and photographer. He graduated law in France, and on his return to Yugoslavia he worked as an art and literary critic. After this he was employed in the diplomatic service and posted to Italy and the USA. He is considered to be one of the most important and most influential Serbian writers in the period between the two world wars.

Major works: The Burlesque of Lord Perun the God of Thunder (Burleska Gospodina Peruna Boga Groma, 1921, fiction), Revelation (Otkrovenje, 1922, poems), Africa (Afrika, 1930, travel book), People Talk (Ljudi govore, 1931, fiction), Day the Sixth (Dan šesti, 1961, novel).

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Publishing

On Divine Philanthropy

From Plato to John Chrysostom

by Bishop Danilo Krstic

This book describes the use of the notion of divine philanthropy from its first appearance in Aeschylos and Plato to the highly polyvalent use of it by John Chrysostom. Each page is marked by meticulous scholarship and great insight, lucidity of thought and expression. Bishop Danilo’s principal methodology in examining Chrysostom is a philological analysis of his works in order to grasp all the semantic shades of the concept of philanthropia throughout his vast literary output. The author overviews the observable development of the concept of philanthropia in a research that encompasses nearly seven centuries of literary sources. Peculiar theological connotations are studied in the uses of divine philanthropia both in the classical development from Aeschylos via Plutarch down to Libanius, Themistius of Byzantium and the Emperor Julian, as well as in the biblical development, especially from Philo and the New Testament through Origen and the Cappadocians to Chrysostom.

With this book, the author invites us to re-read Chrysostom’s golden pages on the ineffable philanthropy of God. "There is a modern ring in Chrysostom’s attempt to prove that we are loved—no matter who and where we are—and even infinitely loved, since our Friend and Lover is the infinite Triune God."

The victory of Chrysostom’s use of philanthropia meant the affirmation of ecclesial culture even at the level of Graeco-Roman culture. May we witness the same reality today in the modern techno-scientific world in which we live.

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