Rafailo of Sisatovac

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Hieromartyr Rafailo (Momcilović),(in serbian:Свети свептеномученик Рафаило Шишатовачки)


Rafailo (baptismal name Đorđe) Momcilović was born on April 23, 1875, his parents being Velimir and Persida, in a village Deronje in Bačka, where he completed primary school. When he was ten years old, he went to the Kovilj Monastery, and afterwards to the Bođani Monastery. On October 26, 1896 he took the monastic vows in the Manasija Monastery, igumen Miron (Đorđević) serving. On November 23, 1896, Metropolitan Mihailo ordained Rafailo hierodeacon. Simultaneously with spiritual rising and accomplishments, Rafailo improved his knowledge of painting by studying on an advanced level. He was educated in art in Belgrade, Moscow and Italy. He painted the iconostases in the churches in Velika Krsna (1902), the Rakovica Monastery (1905/6), Pačir and Gornji Kovilj (1908-10) and in the Ružica Church in Belgrade (1925/26). Hieromonk Rafailo painted many single icons, then portraits of clergymen, and he was also a great landscape painter.


At the beginning of the World War II, Archimandrite Rafailo was the igumen of the Šišatovac Monastery. On August 25, 1941 the Ustashe arrested him, together with three other monastics of the Šišatovac Monastery, and transported by train to Slavonska Požega. During this transport, Igumen Rafailo was tortured in different ways: they hit him by different objects and tore out his beard. In the concentration camp in Slavonska Požega the afflictions of hieromonk Rafailo continued. After monstrous tortures he died on September 3, 1941. No one knows where he was buried.

At the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1999, Abbot Rafailo was canonized and his name was entered in the List of Names of the Serbian Church as the Hieromartyr. His memory feast is on August 21/September 3 - the day of his death.



The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Father, for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By doing so, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away; but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. Therefore, your spirit, O holy Father Rafailo rejoices with the angels.