Nikodim Tismanski (also known as Nikodim Osvećeni, Nikodim Vratnenski, Nikodim Grčić, and in Romanian, Nikodim de la Tismana; Prilep, today in North Macedonia, then Byzantine Empire, c. 1320 - Tismana, Walachia, now Romania, 26 December 1406) is an Orthodox monk scribe and translator who was the founder of monasteries, one in Serbia and two in Romania. In Serbian medieval history he is remembered for conveying hesychastic monastic traditions and as a member of a diplomatic and ecclesiastical mission to Constantinople in 1375. He was one of the followers of St. Gregory of Sinai. Sanctified in 1767 by the Eastern Orthodox Church Nikodim is commemorated on 26 December.[1] Also, he was canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1955.[2]

National affiliation and place of birth

Nicodemus who was born most probably in Prilep, was of a mixed Greek-Serbian origin to a Greek father from Kastoria and a Serbian mother.[3][4] Another researchers point to Aromanian father and Bulgarian mother.[5]

Some Serbian historian and academician Djordje Spase Radojičić (1905-1970), who wrote about Serbian medieval history, believes that Nikodim was born in Prilepac, near Novo Brdo, now in Kosovo, the birthplace of Prince Lazar of Serbia, with whom he was related. This fact explains that Prince Lazar of Serbia chose Nikodim to participate in resolving the dispute between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as the fact that Lazar financed the construction of monasteries on both sides of the Danube.[6]

The late Romanian Metropolitan Nestor Vornicescu writes that Nicodemus was a Serb, and that he was fluent in Serbian, Church Slavonic and Greek.[7] Romanian historian Alexandru Piru states that Nikodim Tismanski's first written works were in Serbian,[8] and that the manuscripts were reworked and translated into Romanian by Hieromonk Stefan de la Tismana in 1839.[9] He also mentions that Nikodim's father was a Greek from the town of Kostur and that Nikodim was a relative of Prince Lazar.[10]

Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga believes that Nikodim was an Aromanian originally, while in other papers he writes that Nikodim was a Serb and that he wrote in Serbian[11]

Nikodim copied the four gospels, and in Romanian literature it is stated that they were originally written in Church Slavonic.[12]

Biography

Raised in piety and honesty, early in his youth he met some traveling monks in Serbia from the Hilandar monastery, and went with them to Mount Athos, where he studied and labored patiently with perseverance. After the death of the then Abbot of Hilandar, the monks voted precocious Nikodim in his place. Nikodim was a friend of many famous people of that time, such as Prince Lazar of Serbia, Isaija the Monk, the Anonymous Athonite (biographer of the "Life of Isaiah", that is Isaija the Monk), Patriarch Euthymius of Tarnovo, Danilo II, Serbian Archbishop, and many others.[13] There are sources that claim that he was related to Prince Lazar.

Prince Lazar wanted to appoint him to a high spiritual function, but he rejected it and settled in the eastern parts of the country, near the city of Kladovo on the Danube. After hearing about his virtuous life, a group of monks gathered around him, and in that place -- Manastirica—they established a monastery and a church named "Holy Trinity". This monastery is known as the Monastery of the "Holy Trinity" or Manastir Manastirica.[14] In the newly established monastery, he introduced the hesychasm lifestyle that he learned on the Holy Mountain.

The venerable Nikodim crossed the Danube River and settled in the northern Banat, where he erected the Vodice Monastery[15] and dedicated it to Antony the Great, the founder of monasticism. When Prince Lazar sent a delegation to Constantinople to have a dialogue with Patriarch Philotheus I of Constantinople, he made sure that Nikodim went with Isaija the Monk who led the diplomatic mission. Upon returning from Constantinople, Nikodim erected the Tismana Monastery in Romania, dedicated to the Most Holy Virgin.[16]

In the course of time, Tismana Monastery benefited from the help of ruling princes Stefan Lazarević, Radu I of Wallachia, Dan I of Wallachia, Mircea I of Wallachia and Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, to whom the pious Nicodemus was father confessor when he was king of Hungary (1385-1437).

During his lifetime, Nikodim reconstructed the Visina Monastery as well as Prislop Monastery.[17] Between 1399 and 1405 he retreated to Prislop Monastery in Transylvania and in 1406 he returned to Wallachia. Soon afterward, Saint Nicodemus met ruler prince Mircea the Old at Tismana, who called him “my prayerful father Nicodemus”, and in November he participated at Severin in the meeting with King Sigismund of Hungary (1385-1437), whom he impressed with his gift of working miracles.

Saint Nicodemus corresponded with Euthymius, Patriarch of Tarnovo (1375-1393), for defending the true faith against the Bogomil heresy.[18][19]

Saint Nikodim died on 26 December 1406 and was buried in the narthex of the church of Tismana Monastery. His relics were kept there for a while, but later they were hidden in an unknown place because of the hostilities of the time. Only the forefinger of his right hand and his lead pectoral cross remained at Tismana.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ Boškov, Svetozar; Stojkovski, Boris. "One Mention of Saint Nicodemus of Tismana in the Life of the Elder Isaiah Un Mention de Saint Nicodème de Tismana dans la Vie d'Isaïe l'Aîné O Menţiune a Sfântului Nicodim Din Tismana În Viaţa Lui Isaia Premergătorul". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "St Nicodemus the Sanctified of Tismana".
  3. ^ Ines Angeli Murzaku, Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics, Routledge Religion, Society and Government in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet States, Routledge, 2015, ISBN 1317391055, p. 134.
  4. ^ Graham Speake, A History of the Athonite Commonwealth: The Spiritual and Cultural Diaspora of Mount Athos, Cambridge University Press, 2018, ISBN 1108425860, p. 145.
  5. ^ Тодор Балкански, Трансилванските (седмиградските) българи. Етнос. Език. Етнонимия. Ономастика. Просопографии. ИК “Знак ‘94”, Велико Търново, 1996, ISBN 954-8709-16-3, стр. 119-124.
  6. ^ Boškov, Svetozar; Stojkovski, Boris. "One Mention of Saint Nicodemus of Tismana in the Life of the Elder Isaiah Un Mention de Saint Nicodème de Tismana dans la Vie d'Isaïe l'Aîné O Menţiune a Sfântului Nicodim Din Tismana În Viaţa Lui Isaia Premergătorul". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Nestor (1992-01-01). Primele scriere patristice în literatura Română. ISBN 9789733800828.
  8. ^ Piru, Al (1970). "Istoria literaturii române: Perioada veche".
  9. ^ ), Nestor (Metropolitan of Oltenia (1987). "Sfinți români și apărători ai legii strămoșești: Lucrare alcătuită din încredințarea Sfîntului Sinod".
  10. ^ Piru, Al (1970). "Istoria literaturii române: Perioada veche".
  11. ^ Ilarion Ruvaraț, Pop. Nicodim, Archiv f. sl. Philologie XI B.III H 1888, p. 355
  12. ^ Boškov, Svetozar; Stojkovski, Boris. "One Mention of Saint Nicodemus of Tismana in the Life of the Elder Isaiah Un Mention de Saint Nicodème de Tismana dans la Vie d'Isaïe l'Aîné O Menţiune a Sfântului Nicodim Din Tismana În Viaţa Lui Isaia Premergătorul". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ Boškov, Svetozar; Stojkovski, Boris. "One Mention of Saint Nicodemus of Tismana in the Life of the Elder Isaiah Un Mention de Saint Nicodème de Tismana dans la Vie d'Isaïe l'Aîné O Menţiune a Sfântului Nicodim Din Tismana În Viaţa Lui Isaia Premergătorul". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "Super Odmor - Serbia country guide - the Monastery of Holy Trinity".
  15. ^ "Vodita Monastery".
  16. ^ "Romanian Monasteries - Tismana Monastery - Pictures, Information".
  17. ^ "The Prislop Monastery - where miracles really happen". 2015-10-20.
  18. ^ Unesco, Comisia Națională A. Republicii Socialiste România Pentru (1972). "Chronological history of Romania".
  19. ^ http://orthochristian.com/99752.html
  20. ^ "St Nicodemus the Sanctified of Tismana".