• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Mladic and Melanie

In 2006, the crypt of the convent of St Melanie of Rome in Zrenjanin was excavated. The convent had been founded in 1935, and the first prioress, Petronije, was buried there fifty years ago. As ever in these cases, it was announced that the body had supposedly been found miraculously still intact, and the remains were reburied in a special ceremony conducted by the Bishop of Banat. That’s according to what can be gleaned from Google Translate from a report here.

However, it now appears that something else was going on: as has been widely reported, the Serbian newspaper Blic has revealed that the convent was secretly harbouring Ratko Mladic, who at that time was dangerously ill. It was thought that Mladic was likely to die, and the plan was that his body would be secretly placed in the crypt alongside the prioress and some nuns.

Details in English about the convent are scarce; this site has some pictures.

(Name variations: Melania, Melanija).

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