His Grace Bishop Akakije of Uteshiteljevo

(Curriculum vitae)

His Grace Bishop Akakije of Uteshiteljevo was born in 1971 in Osijek to father Miroljub and mother Sladjana Stankovic, baptized with the name Nemanja. He finished grade and art high school (in the graphic design department) in Novi Sad. His education continued in Athens at the Art Academy, (Scholi Kalon Technon – The School of Fine Arts) where he successfully finished higher education in the Byzantine Arts (icons, frescoes, and mosaics) in the class of the well-known professor Constantine Xenopulos (a student of Photios Kontoglou).

On his return from Athens in 1993, he became a novice at the Kovilj Monastery in the Bachka eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate. He left the Kovilj Monastery for the Holy Mountain (Kareja and Kavsokalivy Skete). During his stay on the Holy Mountain, he ceased communion with the world-ecumenist Orthodox and joined the Athonite Zealots of the Esphigmenos Monastery in 1995. As an Athonite Zealot, due to persecution, he was tonsured in catacomb conditions being given the monastic name Akakije (for the Venerable Akakios of Kavsokalivia).  A serious illness caused him to transfer to Athens where he received the Great Schema from Archimandrite Philaret at the “Vaiophoros” Monastery in Attica. Afterwards he returned to Serbia, where he founded the Monastery of Sts. Methodios and Cyril on his parents’ property on Frushka Gora.

In Greece in 1997, he was ordained to the rank of hieromonk by the Greek Old Calendar Church led by Chrysostomos (Kiousis), Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, in order to help the effort for the rebirth of the true, non-Sergianist, non-ecumenist Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Sava. Through his labor, a few more True Orthodox monasteries and parishes sprang up, for whose pastorship were ordained a few new clergy. From the very beginning, along with battling for the rebirth of True Orthodoxy in Serbia, he fought for the Serbian True Orthodox Church’s right to independence in relation to the Greek TOC. He was one of the initiators and active participants in the negotiations for the establishment of unity between two local True Orthodox Churches, the Greek and Russian. Over time, a friendly relationship with the Russian True Orthodox Church became stronger. Hieromonk Akakije, as the official representative of the Serbian TOC, was invited to the great clergy-laity sobor of the Russian TOC in Odessa in 2008, at which took place the historical canonization of St. Philaret, Metropolitan of New York, third of the line of first hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad.

His Grace Bishop Akakije received his episcopal ordination from the hierarchs of the Russian TOC led by His Eminence Vladika Tikhon, Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia. The ordination occurred on 2/15 August, 2011 at the Lesna Monastery of the Holy Mother of God – an historical monastery of the Russian Church Abroad which is located in Normandy, France. His Grace Bishop Akakije was consecrated the first bishop of the Serbian TOC. 

The seat of His Grace Bishop Akakije is Uteshiteljevo.

The namesday of His Grace Bishop Akakije is the feast of the Venerable Akakios the New of Mt. Athos (Kavsokalyvites, 1730), celebrated on the 12th of April according to the patristic Old Calendar, or the 25th according to the civil New Calendar.