St. Nicodim is called “the reorganizer of Roumanian monasticism.” His early life is mostly unknown, even his ethnic origin which might be Greek or Serbian. Tonsured a monk on Mount Athos (now in Greece), he later moved to found two monasteries by the Danube River, called Vratna and Monastirica. He became quite well known for his zeal and ascetic life, and often turned down positions of honor, as he preferred a quiet interior life.
Due to political unrest where he was living, St. Nicodim was pushed into Walachia (now a part of Roumania) in a place near Severin, where he built a monastery patterned after strict Athonite life and the Hesychast practice of the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” Later, he was called to build other monasteries including Tismana, Topolinita, Visna, and one in Prislop, Transylvania. After a life of deep prayer, good works, and all piety, St. Nicodim went to Christ in a cave at Tismana monastery in a.d. 1406. He is depicted in this reverse glass painted icon standing before this monastery in colorful priest’s vestments, giving the priestly blessing, and with a tame deer at his side.