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Arsenie Boca

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arsenie Boca (29 September 1910 28 November 1989) was a Romanian Orthodoxmonk,
theologian and artist. He was persecuted by the Communists and named among the 100 greatest
He was born in Vaa de Sus, Hunedoara County, Romania, died at Sinaia Monasteryand was buried
at Prislop Monastery in Silvau de Sus village.
Studies and formation
He was born on 29 September 1910, in Vaa de Sus, in what was then Austria-Hungary, and his
parents gave him the first name Zian. He studied at the Avram Iancu National High School,
graduating it in 1929. The same year he starts to study at the Theological Academy in Sibiu, which
he graduated in 1933. He received a scholarship from the archbishop of Transylvania to study at the
Institute of Bellearte inBucharest. Meanwhile, he attended the medical classes of professor Francisc
Rainer and the Christian Mystics class of professor Nichifor Crainic.
Remarking on his artistic talent, professor Costin Petrescu entrusted him to paint the scene that
represents Mihai Viteazul from the Romanian Athenaeum. Sent by his bishop, he traveled to Mount
Athos for documentation and spiritual experience.
He was made a deacon on 29 September 1935 by metropolitan Nicolae Blan. In 1939 he spents
three months in the Romanian Skete Prodromos on Mount Athos. On his return, he joins
the Brncoveanu Monastery at Smbta de Sus, Braov County, where he takes his vows and is
tonsured into monachism in 1940. He was ordained priest and became the abbot of the Brncoveanu
Monastery in 1942. As abbot he embellished and renovated the buildings of the monastery, but also
enriched its spiritual and cultural life, helping the theologian Dumitru Stniloae, from Sibiu, with the
translation into Romanian of the first volumes of the Philokalia, a collection of early Church fathers
and monastics in the hesychast tradition.
After the installation of the communist regime in Romania, Boca was persecuted by the authorities
and the Securitate, the regime's secret police. He was arrested several times for helping the anti-
communist resistance, displaced from Brncoveau Monastery to Prislop Monastery and then Sinaia
Monastery, banned from monasticism and Church activity and constantly under the surveillance and
harassment of the Securitate. Father Arsenie has not yet been canonized as a saint, but pilgrims
from all over Romania come to see his grave located in Hunedoara,Romania.