Bosanki Petrovac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 16, 2023
The relics of a 19th-century Serbian hieromartyr who suffered under the Turkish yoke were uncovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina last week.
The relics of Fr. Pilip Karanović were uncovered in the hamlet of Selište, near Krnjeuša in the municipality of Bosanski Petrovac on Tuesday, October 10, with the blessing and participation of His Grace Bishop Sergije of Bihać and Petrovac, and with the help of local clergy and parishioners, reports the local diocese.
Bp. Sergije is a descendant of Fr. Pilip.
The diocese writes of the hieromartyr:
For two centuries now, from one generation to the next, an oral tradition has been passed down and later recorded about the martyrdom of the local parish priest, Fr. Pilip. He suffered for the Orthodox faith and the Serbian name at the hands of the criminals known as Kulenović, more precisely Kulin-kapetan, the son of Mustaj-bey.
A former Krnjeuša priest, Petar Radjenović, left a record about the life and death of Fr. Philip that says: “He was born, as they say, in Lika, and studied there. It’s strange how he could have been born in Lika when it’s known that the Karanović family lived in Boboljuska. Perhaps his father temporarily moved to Lika for some reason, and during that time, he was born there. After 1800, Fr. Pilip moved from Boboljuska to Vedro Polje near Petrovac, and from there the spahi (local authority) sent him too Selište, first to Mala Selište and then to Veliko Selište. When he arrived here, there must not have been a single priest here, because nothing is mentioned about it. The records immediately speak of Fr. Pilip as the priest of this entire parish. He served this parish for about 15-20 years. Around 1821, when many Orthodox priests throughout the Turkish Empire were suffering, the Turks suspected Fr. Pilip of preparing a rebellion and banished him to Prkosi, where the authorities were located at that time. They hanged him on a pear tree in Ponorac. He hanged there all day, and at night, his parishioners came secretly, took his body down from the gallows, and buried him in the graveyard right behind his house.”
Fr. Pilip left numerous descendants. His sons Trivun and Damjan were priests, and his grandsons, also priests, Đurađ and Stevan, were Bosnian Serb leaders during the 1875-1878 uprising.
Today, Orthodox Krajina rejoices as, after two centuries, the biological and spiritual descendants of Fr. Pilip have brought his martyric relics from the bowels of the earth into the light of day, to forever remind us of his spiritual strength, to be a source of strength and help all of us in prayer, but also to forever remind us of the words of Christ: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (Jn 11:25).
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