Studies and formation
He was born on 29 September 1910, in Vața 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 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 Fine Arts Academy in Bucharest. 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.
Serving the Church
He was made a deacon on 29 September 1935 by metropolitan Nicolae Bălan. In 1939 he spends three months in the Romanian Skete Prodromos on Mount Athos. On his return, he joins the Brâncoveanu Monastery at Sâmbăta de Sus, Braşov County, where he takes his vows and is tonsured into monachism in 1940. He was ordained priest and became the abbot of the Brâncoveanu 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 Stăniloae, 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 allegedly helping the anti-communist resistance, displaced from Brâncoveau 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 Prislop Monastery, Romania. In October 2015 the Romanian Orthodox Church said that it was considering glorifying him as a saint.
- Alison Mutler. Romanian Orthodox Church considers popular monk, persecuted by communists for sainthood. Star Tribune (AP). 1 October 2015
- Facebook Page
- Christian Orthodox Association Hieromonk Arsenie Boca Association
- Official Page of Brancoveanu Monastery in Sambata de Sus
- Biography and photos of Arsenie Boca, in Romanian
- Web-page dedicated to Arsenie Boca, in Romanian
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