Father Justin and Boxing

H/T: Orthodox Experience

My translation from Serbian:

A few days ago I went to the shoemaker. While the snow was really coming down outside and while he repaired my shoe we got to talking about different things.

People tend to first mention that which is bothering them or that which they disagree with and so was the case with him. In the end he started praising Fr. Justin, that he was a great man and then he told me how he became convinced of this….  While he was young he boxed and one time he set off to Gradac River with another boxer friend of his. On their way they decided to pass by Monastery Celije and, if possible, see that man everything was talking about in hushed voices.

Father Justin received them and the first thing they were expecting was to have him talk about – what seemed to them – the incomprehensible things of the faith. But no, to their surprise Fr. Justin starting talking to them about boxing! And he showed them that he knew the current state of world boxing, even more than they did. At that time a great match was scheduled to take place between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier and they asked him who he thought would win. Fr. Justin told them that he thought “Mister Frazier” would win, which they didn’t agree on since Ali was a stronger contestant. And truly “Mister Frazier” won, just as Fr. Justin said.

They found out afterward that he reads much, that he even receives newspapers from America and everything interests him and he follows, as they found out, even boxing…

Holy people like Fr. Justin were great in many ways since their love had a much more far reaching breadth than ours and could take in and understand much…

Holy Father Justin be always with us and pray for us!

3 thoughts on “Father Justin and Boxing

  1. For Father Justin to lead a conversation with two men on the subject of boxing — and to be correct in picking the underdog winner of a worldwide championship boxing match — illustrates his humaneness and his exceptional ability to communicate with people not just on religious matters, but also on current events.

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