The “Days of Remembrance of Bishop Athanasios” are held in the Holy Diocese of Zachumi and Herzegovina in Bosnia on the occasion of the completion of two years since the death of the charismatic Bishop Athanasios Jeftic, who with his work and thought sealed the theological events of the Serbian Church, but also of the Orthodox Church in general, as testified by people who knew him closely.
The Diocese of Zachumi and Herzegovina, honoring the memory of the blessed Hierarch who blessed it in difficult times, as the time he served as Bishop during the period in which Bosnia was tested by the civil war, organizes events in his honor that bear the name “Days of Remembrance Bishop Athanasios”.
Yesterday, the Exhibition entitled “Archives and Library of Bishop Athanasios Yeftits 1938-2021” opened its doors , which houses the Archival Material left behind by Bishop Athanasios.
On the same day, an event followed, in which, among others, the Bishop of Raskas and Prizren, Mr. Theodosios , spoke about his acquaintance with the blessed Bishop and his close discipleship.
The life of the charismatic Hierarch
The blessed Hierarch fell asleep on March 4, 2021 at the age of 83 after a few days of hospitalization in the hospital of Trebinje in Bosnia. Until the last days of his earthly life, blessed Athanasios was devoted to the study of the Fathers of the Church.
Indicative of the love the people had for the Hierarch is the fact that on the day of the Exodus Procession (March 6, 2021), thousands of people accompanied him in procession to the Dormition Monastery of Tvrdoš, where he was buried in the tomb he had made himself when he was still alive.
Athanasios Yeftits was born on January 8, 1938 in the village of Brdarica, near the town of Sabac. His secular name was Zoran, i.e. Augerinos.
Twenty years later, in 1958, he enrolled in the School of Theology of the Serbian Orthodox Church and two years later became a monk (1960). He was ordained by the then Archimandrite and later Saint Iustinos Popovich, on December 3, 1960. In 1961 he was ordained a hierodeacon and in 1963 a hieromonk. In fact, he had graduated from the School of Theology in the same year.
In 1964 he continued his studies at the Theological Academy of Chalki and then at the Theological School of Athens. There he prepared his doctoral thesis in Dogmatic Theology.
In the autumn of 1968 he moved to Paris, where he initially continued his theological studies at the Institute of Saint Sergius, while after only one year he was appointed a professor at the Institute. In the next three years he taught “Introduction to Theology” and “Ascetic Patrology” and “History of the Church of the Byzantine Period”. In France he served in Russian, Serbian, Greek and French parishes.
He returned from Paris in 1972 and since then taught at the Theological School of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade “History of the Christian Church” and “History of the Serbian Church”. In the year 1987 he was elected to the chair of Patrology. He was elected Dean of the School of Theology during the periods 1980-1981 and 1990-1991. During his stay at the faculty he published about a hundred scientific papers.
In 1991 he was elected Bishop of Vanuatu by the Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, while in May 1992, he was appointed to the Diocese of Zahoomi-Herzegovina (Bosnia-Herzegovina). In his work he paid particular attention to the situation of the Serbian church and people in Kosovo, Metohija and other areas of the former Yugoslavia.
In 1994, on the initiative of Elder Athanasios, the Theological Academy of Ag. Vassiliou Ostrózki in Srbinje (Serbian Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina), of which he himself became the first rector.
In 1996 he suffered a serious injury, which led him to withdraw from the administration of the Diocese and remain complacent in the monastery of Tvrdos, near Trebinje.
He continued his scientific work, participating in many scientific conferences on the history of the Church, philosophy, theology and Christian culture. More than ten of his books have been published. In the last period before his sleep, he was busy with publications about Saint Justin Popovich, specifically with letters of the Saint. Watch a video of a speech by the blessed Hierarch during the presentation of a volume of the Dogmatics of St. Justin of Celie (Popovits) , an edition of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi, which took place at Pallas in Athens in 2019.