- Excerpt from the book: DISTINGUISHED PEOPLE FOR BITOLA / Publishers: NUUB “St. Clement Ohridski” – Bitola, Municipality of Bitola / Bitola 2007
- Photo: Преспанско-пелагониска православна епархија…
Nektraij of Bitola, (1430-1500), saint of Bitola who saved the citizens from the Turkish attacks. His birth name was Nikola.
He was born in 1430 in Bitola, metropolitan’s residence of Ohrid Archbishopric. He lived in this city as a young man and the last years of his life he spent in Sveta Gora, praying for the life, harmony, happiness and well being of his citizens –of Bitola and other Christians in Macedonia. He beatified on 5.12.1500. In the orthodox calendar he was given the day on 5.12 or 18.12 by the old calendar. In his Gospel it is said that he lived with his religious parents exactly when Turkish conquered Bitola. Before that, his mother dreamed St.Mary, who said that she should take her husband and children and leave the city to find a shelter in some other place, because Agarjans (it meant the Turkish) would enslave all the people. His mother told all these things to his father and they immediately got people together (from Bitola) – children, women and weak old people left the city, while the men remained to defend the city from the Turkish invader with weapons. The Turkish conquered the city and spread devastation, slaughter and evil.
When the situation came down (when there were no battles), large number of Christian families came back. Nikola’s father in his older age left to the monastery “Kuzman and Damjan” nearby Bitola, became a monk and got the name Pahomij. Nektarij often went there and studied the Christian religion.
When young Nikola grew up he secretly ranaway to Sveta Gora Atonska. There he met the old Filotej, who after finishing his praying called him and showed him his second sight. Then Nikola became a monk and got the name Nektarij of Bitola. He lived long and became protector of marriage and fertility. Every day he prayed to God and Jesus Christ for the health and happiness of Bitola citizens. Nektarij lived long at Sveta gora Atoska. He beatified at the age of 70 years on 5.12.1500. The worshipers pray to him for strengthening of their marriage relations, especially if the marriage breaks down, to return peace, harmony, purity and love and to return the heart of the husband (wife) from the impure way… in order to be one body, and also for other troubles – infertility, happiness and success. His holy relics rest in the cell of Sveta Gora on Atos.