His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, served on the Saturday, Lazarus’ Saturday, the Holy Divinel Liturgy in Belgrade’s Cathedral Church. Today’s feast is also the slava (patron saint’s day) of Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
His Holiness was concelebrated by his Vicar Bishop Jovan of Ulpiana and many priests.
The same day, Serbian Patriarch also met with H.E. Mr. Gordan Markovic, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, who expressed his condonelences to His Holiness on the occasion of passing away of Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch received His Excellency Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Ambassador of Japan and Mr. Wataru Yokohama, Adviser, at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade yesterday, on 9 April 2014.
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.