When the Most-holy Virgin Mary reached the age of three, her holy parents Joachim and Anna took her from Nazareth to Jerusalem to dedicate her to the service of God according to their earlier promise. It was a three-day journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem but, traveling to do a God-pleasing work, this journey was not difficult for them. Many kinsmen of Joachim and Anna gathered in Jerusalem to take part in this event, at which the invisible angels of God were also present. Leading the procession into the Temple were virgins with lighted tapers in their hands, then the Most-holy Virgin, led on one side by her father and on the other side by her mother. The virgin was clad in vesture of royal magnificence and adornments as was befitting the “King’s daughter, the Bride of God” (Psalm 45:13-15).
Following them were many kinsmen and friends, all with lighted tapers. Fifteen steps led up to the Temple. Joachim and Anna lifted the Virgin onto the first step, then she ran quickly to the top herself, where she was met by the High Priest Zacharias, who was to be the father of St. John the Forerunner. Taking her by the hand, he led her not only into the Temple, but into the “Holy of Holies,” the holiest of holy places, into which no one but the high priest ever entered, and only once each year, at that. St. Theophylact of Ohrid says that Zacharias “was outside himself and possessed by God” when he led the Virgin into the holiest place in the Temple, beyond the second curtain-otherwise, his action could not be explained. Mary’s parents then offered sacrifice to God according to the Law, received the priest’s blessing and returned home.
On Sunday, December 1st, 2013 after the visit to the church of Saint Luke in Dortmund and the parish of Saint Stephen in Essen, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch visited the church of Saint Sava in Dusseldorf.
Before the arrival to the church, Serbian Patriarch visited a city cemetery in Dusseldorf. After the decision of the city authorities, a special part of this cemetery where Orthodox Serbs, Russians and Greeks are being buried has been determined recently. The church and courtyard were full of children and pious Serbs from Dusseldorf and surrounding area who waited for His Holiness.
On Sunday December 1, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch visited the church of Saint Luke the Apostle in Dortmund and the Church-school congregation of Saint Stephen in Essen.
During the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy Serbian Patriarch Irinej was concelebrated by Archbishop Longin of Klin from the Russian Orthodox Church, episcopal deputy protopresbyter-stavrophor Milan Pejic, protopresbyter-stavrophor Dordje Trajkovic, head of the church; protopresbyter-stavrophor Nedjo Janic and other priests. Following the Liturgy Archbishop Longin informed His Holiness about the work of the Conference of Orthodox Bishops of Germany.
The church-school congregation in Dortmund was founded in 1985 with the blessing of Bishop Lavrentije. It has two parishes. Parish letter is published six times a year. Youth gathers once a week at the church center and their involvement in the life of the Church is increasing. The parish has a choir which each Sunday brightens the service of God. The head of the church is protopresbyter-stavrophor Djordje Trajkovic, former professor of the Prizren seminary.
On Saturday, November 30th, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch visited the church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Hamburg.
Lots of faithful people welcomed the Serbian Patriarch in Hamburg, where the bell rang at 5 p.m. at the church of Holy Michael the Archangel to announce the beginning of the service, which was served by head of the church protopresbyter Borisav Simic, archpriest Dragan Jovanovic and protodeacon Damjan Bozic. At the end of the service, f. Simir welcomed His Holiness. Serbian Patriarch Irinej addressed the faithful expressing his delight since the success of having recently bought church building restored and enabled for service.
We say our prayers, go to Church on Sundays, try our best to fulfil the commandments and we sincerely give thanks to God for all He blesses us with as we battle through life. Meanwhile, we worry about our security, fear for our children's future and obsess over our retirement fund. We fall prey to a host of stress related ailments, generally dislike our employment and tremble with terror at the sight of our ageing bodies. We find respite in retail therapy, renewal in the occasional nip and tuck and purpose in befriending the world through social media. Such first world problems, such sure to fail, new age solutions. At the other end of the planet, a different story unfolds.