His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus arrived to Mt. Athos on 20 October 2014.
Since Patriarch Paul as the primate of the Serbian Church did not visit Mount Athos, and that Patriarch German visited Mt. Athos in 1978, this is the first visit of the Serbian Patriarch to Mt. Athos after 35 years. According to the Athonite laws all primates of the Local Orthodox Churches when they enter the ground of Mount Athos they should visit its seat –capital town of Karyes. Patriarch Irenaeus was welcomed by protos – administrator of Mount Athos fathr Symeon from the holy monastery of Dionysiou (one-year mandate was given to representatives of the five Athonite monasteries: Saint Lavra, Saint Paul, Hilandar, Vatopedi and Dionysiou).
The second day of the visit began with the memorial service at the Serbian military cemetery, Zeitinlik.
On this occasion, father Sava, who has taken care about the graves and the cemetery as a whole for decades, was honoured. Serbian Patriarch solemnly decorated him with the order of the Serbian Orthodox Church, for the unselfish love towards neighbours, towards the Orthodox Church.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus arrived to Thessaoloniki on 17 October 2014, in a three-day visit to the Metropolitanate of Neapolis and Stavropolis. The Metropolitanate organized a visit of the Serbian Patriarch on the occasion of the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, since more than 7500 Serbian victims of the Great War rest on its territory within the one section of the Allied military cemetery.
Patriarch Irenaeus is accompanied by Their Graces Bishops Chrysostom of Zvornik-Tuzla and Justin of Zica, protopresbyter Gajo Gajic and deacon Igor Davidovic. Host, Metropolitan Barnabas of Neapolis, welcomed the first hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the airport and accompanied him to the Cathedral church of Saint John at Neapolis.
The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, held on the 14 October, is a well beloved day in the Russian Orthodox Church. In Australia, this is emphasised by the fact that we have two parishes dedicated to protection of the Virgin Mary; the Protection Cathedral in Melbourne and the Protection Church in Cabramatta, NSW.
The saintly Grand Duke Andrei Bogolubsky (1155-1174) originally introduced the Feast into Russia in 1160, after become acquainted with the Don Cossacks and seeing their devotion to the miraculous vision of the Mother of God over Constantinople in 911 AD, decided to dedicate his realm to the protection of the Heavenly Mother. In 1164, Grand Duke Andrei instructed the Russian Church to include the Feast of the Protection into the church calendar and this started a period of church construction dedicated to the Protection - "Pokrov"; the most famous church of that period is the unsurpassed "Pokrov on the Nerli" built in 1165 near the Grand Duke's residence at Bogolubovo.
His Holiness Irineaus, Serbian Patriarch, met today with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
President of the Russian Federation visited today Belgrade, where he met with President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met today at the Palace Serbia in Belgrade, in front of which the military parade had been held on the occasion of the centennial since the beginning of the World War One and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, in the Second World War.