1700th Anniversary of the Edict of Milan solemnly commemorated in Nis
The closing ceremony of the 17 centuries of the Edict of Milan was held in Nis in front of the church of Sts. Emperor Constantine and Empress Helen. HIs All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy.
In the Holy Liturgy in Serbian, Greek, Church-Slavonic and Arabic language, Patriarch Teophilos III of Jerusalem, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Serbian Patriarch Irinej concelebrated along with archbishops of the Local Orthodox Churches, bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the clergy.
The commemoration of the 17 centuries of the Edict of Milan was attended by President of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of the Republic of Srpska Mr. Milorad Dodik, Prime Minister Mr. Ivica Dacic, members of the Government, Mayor of Nis Mr. Zoran Perisic and President of the City Assembly Mr. Mile Ilic, representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces, diplomatic corps, representatives of the Christian Churches, other religious communities and church organizations, Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic and Princess Katherine, representatatives of the host city, social and political life of this part of Serbia.
In the park of Saint Sava in front of the church a great number of the faithful and citizens gathered and from there they watched the Divine Liturgy, while many other faithful were in the long queue in order to venerate the shrines in the church - the particle of the Precious Cross and hand of Saint John the Baptist.
The Divine Liturgy ended with handing out the order of Saint Emperor Constantine to the primates and church dignitaries, representatives of the state, ambassadors in Serbia, representatives of the church associations, as well as to individuals who contributed to the marking of 17 centuries of the Edict of Milan.
The Order of Saint Emperor Constantine was granted to all present Patriarchs and primates of the Churches led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, Prime MInister Mr. Ivica Dacic, President of Republic of Srpska Mr. Milorad Dodika and Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic, as well as First Vicepresident of the Government of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Aleksandar Vucic, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ivan Mrkic and President of Montenegro Mr. Filip Vujanovic who were not present.
The Holy Divine Liturgy and the celebration in Nis was secured by around 1000 members of the police and special units and was coved by more than 50 accredited newsreporter teams.