Elder Thaddeus. watercolor
    Elder Thaddeus was born in 1914 in the village of Vitovnica as Tomislav Štrbulović, the son of working class parents. Aged 15, he was told by doctors that he had only five years to live. The young man entered the monastery of Milkovo, where he became a monk, the disciple of Russian monks who had taken refuge there. They had come to Serbia as a result of the Bolshevik coup d’etat in Russia and the neo-calendarist persecution of Orthodoxy at Valaam Monastery, then in Finland. Among the Russian monks at Milkovo was the well-known Fr. Ambrose, a disciple of St. Ambrose of Optina. It was from him that Fr. Thaddeus soon learned the Jesus Prayer.
    After the repose of his revered Elder, the saintly Fr. Ambrose, Fr. Thaddeus moved to Gornjak Monastery, where he was tonsured by its Russian Abbot Fr. Seraphim in 1935. On July 14 that same year, he became a hierodeacon, and on February 3, 1938 he was made a Hieromonk in the Rakovica monastery.
    After this he was given various obediences and until the outbreak of the Second World War served at the Patriarchate in Pec. From here he returned to Belgrade where he was arrested by the Gestapo, who had already arrested Patriarch Gabriel (Dozic) of Serbia and the future St Nicholas (Velimirovich).
    He became a hegumen in 1949 in St. Michael's Cathedral in Belgrade.
    Elder Thaddeus was the hegumen at Vitovnica Monastery from April 14, 1962 until the end of March 1972. Fr Thaddeus was to remain in Vitovnica for most of the rest of his life. He became known as an Elder and every day received all who came to him for advice, support and consolation. He departed this life on 13 March 2003 and was buried in the monastery of Vintovitsa. He is venerated by his many spiritual children, especially Serbians and Bosnians, including former Muslims whom he converted to Christ.
Elder Thaddeus. watercolor
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Elder Thaddeus. watercolor

Watercolor portrait of elder Thaddeus (Strabulovich) of Vitovnica. Serbia. Made in Krita
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Published:

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