Nikodim Milaš, bishop, church canonist and political worker. He was born as Nikola in Šibenik on 16 April 1845 to Trifun Milaš, a small merchant hailing from Cetina, and mother Marija Valmasoni who was of Italian origin. In his birthplace Milaš completed his primary school run by Franciscans and secondary school in Zadar which was run by the Jesuit order at the time. He acquired basic knowledge of theology in Sremski Karlovci in 1866. That same year he travelled to Vienna, where he studied philosophy, but abandoned it the following year to enrol at the Kyiv spiritual academy. He completed it in 1871 and became deputy lecturer at the Seminary in Zadar only to take up professorship of the canon law and practical theology the following year. Soon afterwards he became Dean of the Seminary which required a monastic rank, so Bishop Stefan Knežević ordained him at the Dragović monastery in 1873. He maintained the position of dean of the Seminary that could be frequented only by students who had completed secondary education. Therefore, it had the status of a higher education institution until 1890 when, on death of the Prince Bishop Knežević, Milaš was appointed his successor. By then he had already developed a profile of one of the most knowledgeable orthodox canonists with many published works, which were translated to foreign languages, participation at important theological conferences and meetings of the most important churches. Moreover, apart from the discipline of canon and church law, he made significant contributions to the field of historic sciences; his good knowledge of several world languages, including Italian, German, Russian, French, as well as Greek and Latin, served him well by allowing him to work with primary sources. He also possessed national passion directed against Catholic high priesthood’s proselytism and state politics that diminished the contribution of the Orthodox Church. He advocated for and managed to introduce Serb language in secondary schools, organised and helped educational and humanitarian foundations; as a bishop, in his epistles and through pastoral and missionary work, he fostered orthodoxy and Serbdom in Dalmatia. Milaš also gained prominence as a founder of church and school buildings. Because of his wide knowledge, work energy and religiousness, he was held in high esteem among high circles; this is evidenced by the fact that in 1886 he became Dean of the Belgrade Seminary, which he reformed in line with modern standards, and by the offer of position of the Belgrade Metropolitan in 1905.
Moreover, he was one of the most serious candidates for the position of the Patriarch in Sremski Karlovci which was, however, strongly opposed by the Hungarian government. Alongside all his regular obligations, he wrote scientific and occasional articles, circulars and sermons while also editing church bulletins and several issues of Serbo-Dalmatian magazine; as a deputy to Dalmatian parliament he was engaged in the Serb Party, leading its right wing. Because of his staunch national engagement Milaš was a constant target of the political police and particularly of corrupt intelligentsia from national ranks, that he frequently complained against in his autobiography. Because of this and some other affairs, quite uncommonly for the circumstances in the Orthodox Church, Milaš resigned from his position as bishop in 1912 and withdrew first to Ljubljana and then to Dubrovnik. But Austrian authorities still suspected him and kept raiding his quarters, so that much of his materials and finished works were permanently lost. His bibliography includes more than 180 published works, either books or texts in various magazines, leading to honorary membership of Petersburg and Moscow spiritual academies and corresponding membership of the Serb Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), as well as membership of the Society for recent history of Austria in Vienna, Matica Dalmatinska, Matica Srpska, the Serb Archaeological Society and Saint Sava Society in Belgrade.
He died on Good Friday, 20 March 1915 in Dubrovnik, where he was buried in a private tomb but his remains were transferred on 4 October 1930 to a sarcophagus, which is kept in a special chapel at the St. Salvation church in Šibenik.