Statement by the Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations and the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
On February 2, 2015, in compliance with the ruling of the Skopje Court, Archbishop Jovan (Vraniskovsky) of Ohrid, a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was released from the Idrizovo prison.
This year's celebration of Saint Sava in Zagreb began with the Holy Liturgy in the chapel of Saint Sava, at the Serbian Orthodox Grammar School Kantakuzina Katarina Brankovic, which was officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana.
The Metropolitan was concelebrated by Archimandrite Danilo, hierodeacon Venjamin, hieromonk Nikon, protopresbyter-stavrophor Slobodan Lalic and deacon Branimir Jokic. Then the Metropolitan blessed the slava cake and held a sermon regarding the feast day of Saint Sava.
On Sunday, January 25, His Grace Bishop Dr Maxim visited the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, Arizona, for their Patron Saint Day Celebration.
On this beautiful, sunny Arizona day Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace along with V. Rev. Lazar Vasiljevic, V. Rev. Stanislav Djuric, Rev. Deacon Zoran Aleksic and host priest V. Rev. Dragomir Tuba, with a great number of faithful people present. His Grace tonsured Michael Devic and Jovan Tuba to the rank of a Reader.
Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great and king of the Jews, grew wroth against the Church of Christ, and slew James, the brother of John the Evangelist. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he took Peter also into custody and locked him up in prison, intending to keep him there until after the feast of the Passover, so that he could win the favour of the people by presenting him to them as a victim. But the Apostle was saved when he was miraculously set free by an Angel (Acts 12:1-19). The chains wherewith the Apostle was bound received from his most sacred body the grace of sanctification and healing, which is bestowed upon the faithful who draw nigh with faith.
That such sacred treasures work wonders and many healings is witnessed by the divine Scripture, where it speaks concerning Paul, saying that the Christians in Ephesus had such reverence for him, that his handkerchiefs and aprons, taken up with much reverence, healed the sick of their maladies: "So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:12). But not only the Apostles' clothing (which certainly touched the bodies of the sick), but even their shadow alone performed healings. On beholding this, people put their sick on stretchers and beds and brought them out into the streets that, when Peter passed by, his shadow "might overshadow some of them"(Acts 5:15). From this the Orthodox Catholic Church has learned to show reverence and piety not only to the relics of their bodies, but also in the clothing of God's Saints.
In the full hall of the Croatian House in Vukovar, the central Diocesan Saint Sava Academy was held on 25 January 2015.
Beside the competent Bishop, His Grace Lukijan, monks and priests, the Academy was attended by many high guests from the social and cultural life of the Serbs of the Diocese of Osek-Polje and Baranja as well as by Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in Vukovar Mr. Zivorad Simic. After the intonation of the Anthem of Saint Sava, His Grace Bishop Lukijan opened the program with a welcome speech.
With the blessing of God, the church and the parish of Saint Sava in the capital of Germany, on the feast day of the First Archbishop of Serbia, were honored with a great spiritual celebration.
For the first time as a competent Bishop, His Grace Bishop Sergije of Middle Europe, on the occasion of the Patron Saint-day of the church, visited this church of Saint Sava in downtown Berlin. The celebration began with a vesper service on the Eve of the feast day celebrated by Bishop Sergije and Berlin’s parish priests. On the feast day of Saint Sava, Bishop Sergije officiated the Divine Liturgy with the concelebration of Bishop John (Haikala) of Palmyra (Antiochian Patriarchate) and nine Orthodox priests from Berlin: archimandrite Emanuel Sfiatkos (Ecumenical Patriarchate), archpriest Andrey Sikoyev and archpriest Alexy (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), protosincellos Climent Londroman (Romanian Patriarchate), archpriest Ljubomir Leontinov and archpriest Julian (Bulgarian Patriarchate), protopresbyter-stavrophor Dragan Sekulic, archpriest Veljko Gacic and presbyter Radomir Kolundzic.