An American in Serbia

“I want to be closer to God and my wife Nina, to pray everyday for her soul,” said Robert Nikola Taylor, a veteran from Texas. He was talking to his middle son and packing his bags getting ready for Monastery Studenica. The Serbian newspaper Politika did a story a few days ago about this 80 year old American who recently lost his wife Katarina Vranic (1934-2009) and has now decided to spend the rest of his days at Monastery Studenica.  Archimandrite Tikhon (Rakicevic), abbot of the monastery, received him in the monastery which he had visited on a number of occasions before with his wife.

Robert met his wife while serving in the US Army in 1956 in Belgrade. They were married at the American Embassy and the next forty years they spent in the US where Katarina raised their sons and worked as a high school teacher. They lived in Louisiana and Texas near the Rio Grande. It was there that Robert in 1992 decided to leave his Protestant church and convert to Orthodoxy. He was baptized in an OCA parish and then they were married in the church. He watched his wife suffer watching the news from Serbia during the war and told her, “You lived here for forty years and I want to give you at least four. We’re going to Serbia.” He sold his land and divided it up among his sons. Now that she’s gone he is staying in Serbia.

A nice story on this Mother’s Day weekend.

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