A regular session of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of Spain and Portugal was held in Madrid on 13 December 2013. Serbian Bishop Luka paid a canonical visit to Alicante.
All members of the Assembly participated: Metropolitan Policarpos of Spain and Portugal (Ecumenical Patriarchate), Bishop Nestor of Korsun (Moscow Patriarchate), Bishop Luka of Western Europe (Serbian Patriarchate) and Bishop Timotheus of Spain and Portugal (Romanian Patriarchate). During the meeting the Statute of Assembly was adopted, necessary for an official registration by the Ministry of Justice of Spain. They also scrutinized the accomplished results on the Synaxarion of ancient saints of the Iberian Peninsula, and discussed a harmonization of the existed translations of Chrysostom’s Liturgy in Spanish (Castilian), and then in Portuguese and other regional languages (Catalan, Basque, Galician).
On Saturday, 21 December 2013 at the Cathedral church of St. Michael the Archangel in Brussels (Belgium) Metropolitan Athenagoras was enthroned. Many high representatives of religious and state institutions from many countries of the world attended the enthronement.
The Serbian Orthodox Church on this occasion was represented by His Grace Bishop Andrej of Remesiana, who also concelebrated to Metropolitan Athenagoras at the first Liturgy which he served as the enthroned Metropolitan.
The Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church congratulates the feast of the birth of the Divine God-Child to believers and prelates of the Christian churches which celebrate Christmas on December 25.
This glorious saint, celebrated even today throughout the entire world, was the only son of his eminent and wealthy parents, Theophanes and Nona, citizens of the city of Patara in Lycia. Since he was the only son bestowed on them by God, the parents returned the gift to God by dedicating their son to Him.
St. Nicholas learned of the spiritual life from his uncle Nicholas, Bishop of Patara, and was tonsured a monk in the Monastery of New Zion founded by his uncle. Following the death of his parents, Nicholas distributed all his inherited goods to the poor, not keeping anything for himself. As a priest in Patara, he was known for his charity, even though he carefully concealed his charitable works, fulfilling the words of the Lord: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matthew 6:3).When he gave himself over to solitude and silence, thinking to live that way until his death, a voice from on high came to him: ``Nicholas, for your ascetic labor, work among the people, if thou desirest to be crowned by Me.'' Immediately after that, by God's wondrous providence, he was chosen archbishop of the city of Myra in Lycia. Merciful, wise and fearless, Nicholas was a true shepherd to his flock.
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. Afterward, when he had been perfected in the monastic life, he began by divine providence to gather around him many who were desirous of the spiritual life. Soon, such a large number gathered that Sava had to build a church and many cells.