The Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands”: In the ninth century during the time of the Iconoclasts, St. John of Damascus (December 4) was zealous in his veneration of holy icons. Because of this, he was slandered by the emperor and iconoclast Leo III the Isaurian (717-740), who informed the Damascus caliph that St. John was committing treasonous acts against him. The caliph gave orders to cut off the hand of the monk and take it to the marketplace. Towards evening St. John, having asked the caliph for the cut-off hand, put it to its joint and fell to the ground before the icon of the Mother of God. The monk begged Our Lady to heal the hand, which had written in defense of Orthodoxy. After long prayer he fell asleep and saw in a dream that the All Pure Mother of God had turned to him promising him quick healing.
Orthodoxy in Melbourne under the aegis of the Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in Oceania commemorated the beginning of the First World War in the "Axion Estin" ("It is Truly Meet") Greek Orthodox Monastery in Melbourne on Saturday, 19 July 2014 with the celebration of a Pan-Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Memorial Service.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej received Professor Dr. Victor Tvircun, Secretary General of the Organization of the Black See Economic Cooperation at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade today.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej received also today a delegation of the Scouts of Serbia, led by its President Mr. Branko Davidovic.
The Sunday, 20 July 2014, was a special day for the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Vienna. The first time in history the new Diocese founded by the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops got the Diocesan Bishop, who is going to take care about Church and spiritual life of his congregation in this Diocese.
Since the early morning guests and pious people were arriving to the churchyard of the Resurrection church to welcome His Holines Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, with Their Eminences Metropolitans and Their Graces Bishops from the homeland. Both priests and monks, all gathered in one Spirit, today occupied the church yard and the church of the Resurrection of Christ.
On Saturday, 19 July 2014, on the eve of the enthronement of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland Andrej, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej arrived in the evening hours to the capital of Austria.
A large number of the faithful people from the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland and eminent invitees who will participate in the enthronement, guests and friends of the Serbian Church, welcomed Serbian Patriarch. His Holiness was welcomed by Bishop Irinej of Backa, administrator of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland; newly elected Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland, Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, as well as by Bishops: Ignjatije of Pozarevac-Branicevo, Lukijan of Budim, Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac, Pahomije of Vranje, retired Bishop Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla, Bishop electus Sergije of Middle Europe, Bishop David of Stobi, abbot of the Chilandar Monastery Fr. Metodije…
The enthronement of the new-elected Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland in Vienna in the church of the Resurrection of Christ will be performed on 20 July 2014 after the Divine Liturgy which will be served by His Holiness Irinej, Arcbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovac and Serbian Patriarch. Many bishops of the Serbian Church and other sister Local Churches, as well as priests and monks will concelebrate during this service.
The highest representatives of the Catholic Church of Austria, state authorities, many church organizations from the world, as well as prominent people from Serbia, Republic of Srpska, Greece, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany... monks from the Athonite monastic communities, professors of the Orthodox Institute at the Munich University, representatives of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches will attend the enthronement.
Biography of newly-elected Bishop Andrej (Cilerdzic) of Austria-Switzerland
Bishop Andrej (Cilerdzic) was born on 21.08.1961 in Osnabrück (Germany), as a second son of protopresbyter-staurophor Dobrivoje Cilerdzic and mother Marijana.The primary school and a grammar school he finished in Dusseldorf (Germany), and after the final examination he spent a year on Mount Athos (1980-1981).He enrolled to the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade in September 1981 and graduated on March 25, 1986. In the monastery of Decani on January 7, 1987 his spiritual elder made him a monk, then hieromonk, and now Bishop Irinej of Backa. He was ordained a hierodeacon on March 8, 1987 in the church of St. Sava in Dusseldorf (Germany), by in that time competent Bishop Lavrentije of Western Europe.