The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century. There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast, and the Council in Trullo in 692 says that the Annunciation was celebrated during Great Lent.
The Greek and Slavonic names for the Feast may be translated as "good tidings." This, of course, refers to the Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation He brings. The background of the Annunciation is found in the Gospel of St Luke (1:26-38). The troparion describes this as the "beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery," for on this day the Son of God became the Son of Man.
There are two main components to the Annunciation: the message itself, and the response of the Virgin. The message fulfills God's promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel." The Fathers of the Church understand "her seed" to refer to Christ. The prophets hinted at His coming, which they saw dimly, but the Archangel Gabriel now proclaims that the promise is about to be fulfilled.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej officiated the Liturgy for the departed and the funeral service for Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana at the Cathedral church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Zagreb
According to his last wish, Metropolitan Jovan was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral church. In the presence of priesthood, monks and crowds of the faithful, His Holiness was concelebrated by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Their Graces Bishops: Vasilije of Srem, Fotije of Dalmatia – administrator of the vacant Diocese of Zagreb-Ljubljana, Atanasije of Bihac-Petrovac, Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac, as well as Archimandrites Gavrilo from Lepavina Monastery and Mihajlo from Gomirje Monastery, and other priests. The Liturgy was also attended by retired Bishop Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla and Vicar Bishop Porfirije of Jegar, President of the Republic of Croatia Mr. Ivo Josipovic, President of the Assembly (Sabor) of the Republic of Croatia Mr. Josip Leko, envoy of the President of Serbia Dr. Mileta Radojevic, envoy of the Croatian Prime Minister Mr. Mirando Mrsic, Cardinal Josip Bozanic with other Church dignitaries, Apostolic Nuncio in Croatia Mr. Alessandro D’Errico with entourage, Secretary General of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference Mons. Enzo Rodinis, Mayor of the City of Zagreb Mr. Milan Bandic with a delegation, Mevludi ef. Arslani from the Islamic Community, Director of the Commission for relations with the religious communities Mr. Sime Jercic, representatives of the religious communities in Zagreb and Croatia, president of the Serbian National Council Mr. Milorad Pupovac, numerous eminent citizens and friends of Metropolitan Jovan. At the Cathedral church there was present Metropolitan’s younger brother Milivoj with his wife. With a short delay, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America arrived as well.
Holy Service for the dead and funeral service for Metropolitan Jovan
Regarding the repose of Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana the Holy service for the dead will be served at the Cathedral church of Holy Transfiguration of the Lord in Zagreb at 10 a.m. on Saturday, 5 April 2014. The funeral service will be served at 12 a.m.
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Metropolitan Jovan (Pavlovic) of Zagreb-Ljubljana reposed in the Lord yesterday, on 3 April 2014 at 06.10 p.m.
The Metropolitan’s health worsened few days ago, so he was transferred to the Sisters of Charity Hospital in Zagreb, where after the stroke he had a surgery on Saturday, 29 March 2014.
Despite dedicated efforts of the physicians of this prestigious healthcare facility, Metropolitan Jovan reposed in the Lord yesterday, on 3 April 2013 at 6:10 p.m.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, and all members of the Holy Synod of Bishops were informed about the repose of Metropolitan Jovan, and will appoint a locum tenens of the Diocese at an extraordinary session and will specify all the details of the funeral.
Biography of Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana
Metropolitan Jovan Pavlovic of Zagreb and Ljubljana of blessed repose was born on 22 October 1936 in the village Medinci near Podravska Slatina in Slavonia. His parents were Sava and Julka Pavlovic. He finished primary school in his village and junior high school in Podravska Slatina. After that he enrolled at the theological school ‘ Saint Sava’ in Monastery of Rakovica. As a student of the first postwar five-grade generation, he finished high school in 1956.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at the chapel of Saint Symeon the Myrrh-Gusher at the Serbian Patriarchate on 3 April 2014.
On this occasion the confession of clergy and the staff of the Serbian Patriarchate and the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade was performed. His Grace Bishop Andrej of Remesiana also was present.
St. John Climacus is honored by the Church as a great ascetic and as the author of a remarkable work entitled, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, and therefore he has been named “Climacus,” or “of the Ladder.”
There has been very little information preserved about his origin. Tradition tells us that he was born in around the year 570, and was the son of Sts. Xenophon and Maria, who are commemorated on January 26/February 28. St. John came to the monastery on Mt. Sinai at age sixteen. Abba Martyrius became his spiritual father and mentor. After four years of living on Mt. Sinai, John was tonsured a monk. One of the fathers present at his tonsure foretold that John would become a great luminary of Christ's Church. St. John labored in asceticism for nineteen years in obedience to his spiritual father. After the death of Abba Martyrius, St. John chose the life of reclusion, departing to a desert place called Thola, where he lived forty years in silence, fasting, prayer, and repentant tears. It is not by chance that St. John speaks so much of repentant tears in The Ladder. "As fire burns and destroys dead wood, so do pure tears cleanse all impurity, both inwardly and outwardly." His prayer was strong and effective—this can be seen in the following example of the great ascetic's life.
His Excellency Francois-Xavier Deniau, Ambassador of the Republic of France to Belgrade, visited His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade on 28 March 2014.