Marking the 900th anniversary of the nativity of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, this annual Assembly of Bishops will begin with the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral church of Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God at the Studenica Monastery on 14 May 2014 at 8.30 a.m., while the solemn rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the work of the Assembly will be officiated at the church of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Ras near Novi Pazar at 2:00 p.m. A working section of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will commence on 15 May 2014 at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.
Basil was born in Popovo Selo in Herzegovina, of simple and devout parents. From his youth he was filled with love for the Church of God, and when he grew up he went to the monastery of the Dormi-tion of the Mother of God at Trebinje, and became a monk. As such, he quickly became known for his serious and rare ascetic life, for he loaded himself with ascetic practices, each harder than the last. He was later chosen and consecrated as Bishop of Zahum and Skenderia, much against his will.
As a bishop, he first lived in the monastery at Tvrdo"s, whence, as a good pastor, he confirmed his flock in the Orthodox faith, keeping it from the cruelty of the Turks and the guile of the Latins. But when he was too pressed-upon by his enemies, and when Tvrdos* was destroyed by the Turks, Basil moved to Ostrog, where he lived in strict asceticism, protecting his flock by his unceasing and loving prayers. He went peacefully to the Lord in the 16th century, leaving his whole and healing body, uncor-rupt and wonderworking, to the present day.
On Sunday, May 4th, 2014, with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the parish in San Diego celebrated the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women and their Church Slava – Parish Patronal Feast Day of St. George the Great Martyr. Though the Feast Day of St. George falls on Tuesday, May 6th, the parish according to established practice celebrates their Church Slava on the Sunday closest to the actual Feast Day.
His Grace Bishop Maxim served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with concelebrants: protopresbyter-stavrophor Velimir Petakovic, protopresbyter-stavrophor Bozidar Draskovic, both former parish priests, protopresbyter Bratislav Bratso Krsic, the parish priest, Deacon Paul Germain, parish deacon, in the presence of many parishioners and the faithful from other Orthodox parishes of the San Diego area. Protopresbyter-stavrophor Milan Vukovic, parish priest at the neighboring parish of St. Petka in San Marcos, joined in the celebration later during the banquet and program.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, received a delegation of Orthodox Spaniards from the Diocese of Western Europe of the Serbian Orthodox Church, led by protopresbyter-stavrophor Joan García at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade on 7 May 2014.
The dean of the Academy of the Serbian Orthodox Church for Fine Arts and Conservation protopresbyter-stavrophor Dr. Radomir Popovic was also present as a co-organizer of this visit.