The unknown village of Mutalaska, in the province of Cappadocia, became famous through this great luminary of the Orthodox Church. Sava was born there of his parents John and Sophia. At the age of eight, he left the home of his parents and was tonsured a monk in a nearby monastic community called Flavian's. After ten years, he moved to the monasteries of Palestine and remained longest in the Monastery of St. Euthymius the Great (January 20) and Theoctistus. The clairvoyant Euthymius prophesied of Sava that he would become a famous monk and a teacher of monks and that he would establish a lavra greater than all the lavras of that time. After the death of Euthymius, Sava withdrew to the desert, where he lived for five years as a hermit in a cave shown to him by an angel of God.
On Sunday, December 14th, 2014, when our Holy Church celebrated prophet Nahum and Saint Philaret the Merciful, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus officiated the Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of His Grace Bishop John of Shumadia, as well as of the clergy of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac and the Diocese of Shumadia, at the church of Great Martyr Demetrius in Lazarevac, some 70 Km south of Belgrade.
This church preserves remains of thousands of Serbian as well as of the Austria-Hungarian officers and soldiers who lost their lives in the battle launched here hundred years ago.
John was first the chief minister to Caliph Abdul-Malik and later a monk in the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified. Because of his ardent defense of the veneration of icons during the reign of the iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian, John was maligned by the emperor to the Caliph, who cut off his right hand. John fell down in prayer before the icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, and his hand was rejoined and miraculously healed. Seeing this miracle the Caliph repented, but John no longer desired to remain with him as a nobleman. Instead, he withdrew to a monastery, where, from the beginning, he was a model to the monks in humility, obedience and all the prescribed rules of monastic asceticism. John composed the Funeral Hymns and compiled the Octoechos (The Book of Eight Tones), the Irmologion, the Menologion and the Paschal Canon, and he wrote many theological works of inspiration and profundity. A great monk, hymnographer, theologian and soldier for the truth of Christ, Damascene is numbered among the great Fathers of the Church. He entered peacefully into rest in about the year 776 at the age of 104.
This glorious follower of Christ was betrothed to Christ from early childhood. Her father Dioscorus was a pagan and was renowned for his position and wealth in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt. Dioscorus locked up his only daughter Barbara, brilliant in mind and of beautiful countenance, in a high tower.
He surrounded her with every comfort, gave her female servants, erected idols for worship, and built her a bathing room with two windows. Looking through the window at the earth below and the starry heavens above, Barbara's mind was opened by the grace of God. She recognized the One True God, the Creator, despite the fact that she did not have a human teacher to bring her to this knowledge. Once, while her father was away from the city, she came down from the tower and, according to God's providence, met some Christian women who revealed the true Faith of Christ to her. Barbara's heart became inflamed with love for Christ the Lord. She ordered that a third window be cut open in the bath so that the three windows would represent the Holy Trinity. On one wall she traced a Cross with her finger, and the Cross etched itself deep in the stone as if cut by a chisel. A pool of water sprang forth from her footprints on the floor of the bath, which later gave healing of diseases to many.
Metropolitan Amphilochius celebrated the Holy Liturgy in Venado Tuerto and a commemoration rite for Radojica Popovic in Aribeños
On Wednesday, 10 December, His Eminence Amphilochius, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop-Administrator of the Diocese of Buenos Aires and South-Central America, served the Divine Liturgy at the church of Holy Archangel Michael in Venado Tuerto in Argentian province of Santa Fe. He was concelebrated by local clergy.
Minister of Culture of the Government of Serbia Mr. Ivan Tasovac visited the Grachanica Monastery where he met His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Raska-Prizren on 12 December 2014.
Bishop Theodosius and Minister Tasovac discussed some actual topics, especially conditions and protection of the Serbian cultural heritage on Kosovo and Metohija. Minister Tasovac visited monasteries of the Patriarchate of Pec and Dechani as well.