This collection contains two works by Nikolai Velimirovic, now venerated as a Saint by Orthodox Christians, and sometimes referred to as Serbia’s “new Chrysostom.” A monk, scholar, and Bishop of Žica, Velimirovic speaks with great erudition and compassion on issues regarding the Serbia and the Orthodox Church, experiencing first-hand the suffering and tumult he discusses. Arrested by the Nazis in 1941, he was eventually sent to Dachau in 1944, where he witnessed the horrors of mass killings and torture. In 1946, he was able to immigrate to the United States from Communist Yugoslavia as a refugee. As summed up by his statement introducing Serbia in Light and Darkness, he writes to “give to the English-speaking people some glimpses into the past struggles, sufferings, and hopes of the Serbian nation. I have tried to describe the Serbian life in light, in its peace, its peaceful work, its songs and prayers; in darkness, in its slavery, its sins, its resistance to evil and battle for freedom.”
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Nikolai Velimirovic (1880–1956) was an influential Serbian theologian, as well as a gifted speaker and writer. He studied at the Seminary of St. Sava in Belgrade, and earned a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford, as well as a doctorate from the old-catholic faculty of theology of Berne. During World War I, he was delegated to the United States and England, where he gave numerous lectures promoting the unity of Serbs and South Slavic peoples. In 1919, he was consecrated Bishop of Žica. Arrested by the Nazis in 1941, he eventually emmigrated from communist Yugoslavia to the United States where he taught at a number of seminaries. He is now venerated as a Saint by the Orthodox Church. Nikolai Velimirovic is also the author of Prologue from Ohrid, Prayers by the Lake, Thoughts on Good and Evil, and many more titles.