Just received this email from an OCA priest:
The following is a draft of an article on the canonization that will appear
in the May-June TOC. It's still in draft form, so ignore the typos and
grammar/spelling errors. The new icon of St. Nicholai will also appear in
SERBIAN PATRIARCHATE CANONIZES BISHOP NICHOLAI VELIMIROVIC
BELGRADE - In a special statement issued on May 19, 2003 during the annual
Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the hierarchs issued
a statement announcing the canonization of the late Bishop Nicholai
[Velimirovic] of Ochrid and Zicha.
The complete text of the statement reads as follows.
"The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church today, May
19, with one heart and one voice unanimously decided to enter Bishop Nicholai
[Velimirovic] of Ohrid and Zicha into the calendar of saints of our Holy
Orthodox Church. By this canonization the Holy Assembly in fact joyously
confirms the widespread and generally agreed upon consciousness of his
holiness among the people of God, not only in our own local church, but in
all the other local churches as well.
"The dates for the liturgical commemoration and feast days of this Holy
Hierarch are set as the day of his blessed falling asleep in the Lord, March
5/18, and the day of the translation of his holy relics from America to
Serbia, April 20/May 3.
"The festal Hierarchical Liturgy with all the members of the Holy
Assembly participating in honor of the newly-proclaimed Saint Nicholai of
Ohrid and Zicha will be held on the feast of the Holy Equals to the Apostles
Cyril and Methodius, the Enlighteners of the Slavs, on May 11/23, 2003 in the
Memorial Church of Saint Sava on Vracar in Belgrade."
Saint Nicholai was born in 1881, one of nine children of Dragomir and
Katarina Velimirovic, in the small village of Lelic. After completing his
theological studies, he received a scholarship to study at the University in
Bern, Switzerland, from which he received a doctorate. After graduation, he
continued his studies at Oxford University.
After he returned to Serbia, he entered the Rakovica Monastery near
Belgrade in December 1909 and received the monastic tonsure with the name
Nicholai. Shortly thereafter, he pursued further studies at the Petersburg
Theological Academy, Petersburg, Russia. In 1915, at the beginning of the
World War I, he was sent to England and the US, where he visited many
churches, monasteries, and other institutions. In March 1919, while he was
still in England, he was elected to the episcopacy and appointed to head the
Diocese of Ohrid. A great missionary and evangelist, he traveled throughout
his diocese and beyond, rebuilt many churches and monasteries destroyed in
war, and established orphanages for abandoned children.
In 1934, Bishop Nicho-lai was reassigned to Zica and initiated
reconstruction of the Zica Monastery and many other monasteries. When the
Germans occupied the country, police and military forces arrested him Bishop
Nicholai on July 12, 1941. He was imprisoned in the Ljubostinja Monastery
until December 3, 1942, when he was sent to Vojlovac with the former Bishop
of Zica, Vasilije, and his nephew, Jovan Velimirovic. In 1944, he and
Patriarch Gavrilo were taken to the infamous Dachau concentration camp, from
which they were released and sent to Slovenia.
After the war, Bishop Nicholai did not wish to Serbia, feeling that he
was being called to help his people from abroad. "When a house burns, put
out the fire from the outside," he used to say. After arriving in the US, he
offered much assistance to the Serbian Church. For several years, he lived
at Saint Tikhon Monastery, South Canaan, PA and taught at Saint Tikhon
Bishop Nicholai's writings on a wide variety of theological subjects,
especially the Prologue From Ochrid, are well known and have been translated
into numerous languages.
Bishop Nicholai died on March 18, at Saint Tikhon Monastery and was
buried at Saint Sava Monastery, Libertyville, IL. In 1991, his remains were
transferred to Serbia and enshrined in the Lelic Monastery.