May 12, 2020 - In Montenegro, believers today celebrate two holidays - Orthodox celebrate St. Vasilije of Ostrog, and Catholics, who mostly live in the Bay of Kotor, celebrate St. Leopold Mandic, a saint who was born in Herceg Novi in 1866.
As they informed from the Parish Office of Herceg Novi, three holy masses are celebrated in that city in the church of St. Jerome. This morning they were at 8, 10 a.m. and the third was announced at 6 p.m.
Following the new measures on the suppression of the Covid-19 spread, the maximum number of believers who can participate in every Mass in the church of St. Jerome is 45. In front of the church, there may be a total of 20 believers.
Sv. Leopold Bogdan Mandić was born on May 12, 1866, in Herceg Novi, as the 15th child of father Petar and mother Dragica Carević. He died in Padua on July 30, 1942. He was beatified 34 years after his death, on May 2, 1976.
After completing his studies in Udine, he was ordained a priest in 1890. As a young priest, he served in Trieste and Padua, Italy, where he was a confessor in a Capuchin monastery in that city for over forty years. He was canonized in 1983 by Pope John Paul II.
In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, it is also recorded that he was proclaimed a saint in the shortest period. He dedicated his entire life to the unification of the Christian West and East and is considered a forerunner of modern ecumenical thought.
He remained nostalgically attached to his homeland. During the First World War, when the Italian government ordered all Austro-Hungarian citizens to live in the border area of Italy to accept Italian citizenship, St. Leopold refused with the explanation, "Like my ancestors Bokelji, I will remain a citizen of the world."
His undecomposed body was exposed to the gift of the faithful for two days in Herceg Novi in mid-September 2017.
The big holiday is May 12 for Orthodox believers who celebrate the Day of Saint Vasilije of Ostrog.
The life of Saint Vasilije of Ostrog in the Upper Monastery in Ostrog is still a place of pilgrimage for many believers, Christians, and Muslims, as well as members of other religions.
They came as a gift to the relics of Saint Vasilije, and the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Amfilohije, served the liturgy with the priests in the Ostrog Monastery. Various media report that the believers did not respect the measures of the National Coordination Body on the prescribed distance.
Saint Vasilije Ostroški - The miracle worker was born in the village of Mrkonjić in Popovo polje in 1610 to parents Petra and Anastasia Jovanović. At birth, he was named Stojan. He became a monk in the Tvrdoš monastery. According to tradition, he came to Montenegro as a hieromonk, and after a short stay, he returned to Herzegovina and then traveled to Russia. From Russia, he brought precious gifts in books, church supplies, and money, which he distributed to the poor. Before the Turkish violence, he left Herzegovina again and spent a year in Hilandar. He came to Onogost in 1651, but he also had to leave that city and seek refuge in the Ostrog cave - hermitage, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Ostrog Monastery is considered the largest Orthodox sanctuary in Montenegro, and due to its unique architecture, it is one of the most visited attractions in our country.