Jovan (Purić) of Niš

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Bishop Jovan (secular name Mladen Purić) is Serbian orthodox bishop of Niš

Mladen Purić born on May 24/June 6 1965 in Mijace, near Valjevo, by father Radosav and mother Zora. Since his childhood his pious parents thought him about piety and the church life, and while he was growing up within the monastery of Pustinje and Celije near Valjevo, he was received and accepted a spirit of ardor for the Lord from abba Justin and other clergymen who then with live word and with God-pleasing life influenced souls that longed for God in a hard time for the Church, and especially for the Shepherds. On the beginning of the eighties of XX century the Providence of God sent him to the spiritual father Lazar (Adzic), who would later succeed to the throne of Heugomens of Ostrog. He visited the Holy Land, Mount Athos and Greece.

Mladen enrolled and completed with honors the Seminary of St. Sava in Belgrade. Then he enrolled the Theological studies at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, and continued his studies in St. Petersburg, where he graduated with honors on Respecting icons and symbolism.

He became a monk on the day of Sts. Martha and Mary the Myrrh-bearing, on June 4/17 1992 in Ostrog, by the hand of Bishop Atanasije (Jevtić) of Zahumlje-Herzegovina. He was ordained a hieromonk by Serbian Patriarch Pavle of blessed repose in 1995 in Milesevo Monastery. He entered the Throne of the Heugomens of Ostrog in 2001 by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral. He became the Bishop by the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on May 6/19 2004, and Serbian Patriarch Pavle of blessed repose in the same year ordained him in Podgorica.

Besides this services, bishop Jovan continuously is engaged in scientific and pedagogical work, so he is the author of the books: Lestvica tajnovodstvenog putovanja, Ostroski Istocnik, The Voice of Shepherd from Ostrog, Handsful of Theology, Voice in the Desert The Holy Service of Ostrog, Philosophy and Education, Agiologija sa himnologijom, Names and scriptures on icons and frescoes, Theological basics of pedagogy of St. John Chrysostom, Church service and upbringing, Human face of God, Exegesis of hymnography of Holy Scripture,Orthodoxy before challenges of modern time.

He prepared the Anthology of prayerful theology (The Secret of Redemption). He is the editor and reviewer of several books and collections, then the church and educational programs on Radio Svetigora. He is the script writer and producer of the scientific and educational TV series and books "Divine Liturgy" and "Icon".

Since 1990s he lectured several subjects and he was teacher at Belgrade and Cetinje Seminary. Since 2007 he has been professor of the Holy Scripture at the Academy of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade. He is a member of the Commission of the educational chamber of the SOC, where he creates teaching program for all seminaries from Dogmatism and Liturgical Theology. He was participant of many symposiums and international conferencies.

With the secret of iconic education he has been engaged for 20 years in the educational institutions of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which were crowned by PhD thesis defence at the Philosophical Faculty in Pale, East Sarajevo, on November 12, 2009 on the theme: “ Philosophy of education in work of St. John Chrysostom” before the members of the commission consisted of: Prof. Dr Branko Letic, Prof. Dr. Simo Neskovic (mentor) and Prof. Dr. Boris Brajovic.

He is Associate Professor at the Academy of the Serbian Orthodox Church for arts and conservation in Belgrade, at the Department for Iconology, as well as on doctoral studies at the University of Art in Belgrade.