Patriarch Irinej in Banja Luka: Unity, faith in God and love towards homeland are the most important for the Serbs

His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, was welcomed on January 8, 2020, in front of the Bishop’s court in Banja Luka by His Grace Bishop Jefrem of Banja Luka, Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska Radovan Viskovic and Serbian Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik.

The reception of the Patriarch was attended by Their Graces Bishops Fotije of Zvornik-Tuzla and Sergije of Bihac Petrovac, Minister of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska Dragan Lukac, Director of the Republika Srpska Secretariat for Religions Dragan Davidovic, Mayor of Banja Luka Igor Radojicic, Chief of the Serbian Club in the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina Nenad Stevandic and many faithful.

In the church of Holy Trinity the solemn doxology in honour of the Serbian Patriarch Irinej was served by protopresbyter-staurophor Vojo Balaban, protodeacon Cedo Vranic and deacon Zoran Djuradj.  The Serbian Patriarch said on this occasion: - Unity, faith in God and love towards homeland are the most important for the Serbs. I am glad that also this year I am in Banja Luka, in Republika Srpska, to celebrate together the Day of Republika Srpska. We need fellowship most, and that Republika Srpska might overcome all the difficulties because it has stood by the God, Our Lord.

President of Republika Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic organized a solemn dinner in honour of Patriarch Irinej. The dinner was attended by the member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik, President of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska Nedeljko Cubrilovic, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska Radovan Viskovic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zoran Tegeltija, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vulin, Ministers in the Government of Republika Srpska and in the Council of Ministers, members of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska and the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bishops and clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Ambassadors of Serbia and Russia in BH Aleksandar Djordjevic and Petar Ivancov, representatives of diplomatic corps, dignitaries from public, social and political life.

The Holy Protomartyr Stephen the Archdeacon

Stephen was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul and one of those Jews who lived in the Hellenic provinces. Stephen was the first of the seven deacons whom the holy apostles ordained and appointed to the service of assisting the poor in Jerusalem. For this, he is called the archdeacon.

By the power of his faith, Stephen worked great miracles among the people. The wicked Jews disputed with him, but they were always defeated by his wisdom and the power of the Spirit, Who acted through him. Then the shameful Jews, accustomed to calumnies and slander, incited the people and the elders of the people against the innocent Stephen, slandering him as though he had blasphemed against God and against Moses. False witnesses were quickly found who confirmed this. Stephen then stood before the people, and all saw his face as it had been the face of an angel (Acts 6:15), that is, his face was illumined with the light of grace as was once the face of Moses when he spoke with God. Stephen opened his mouth and enumerated the many good works and miracles that God had performed in the past for the people of Israel, as well as the many crimes and opposition to God on the part of this people. He especially rebuked them for the killing of Christ the Lord, calling them betrayers and murderers (Acts 7:52). And while they gnashed their teeth, Stephen beheld and saw the heavens open and the glory of God. That which he saw, he declared to the Jews: Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God! (Acts 7:56). Then the malicious men took him outside the city and stoned him to death. Among his persecutors was his kinsman Saul, later the Apostle Paul.

Patriarchal Liturgy in church of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Zemun

On the second day of Christmas, on the Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God, 9 January 2020, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God in Zemun. 

The Patriarch was concelebrated by the local clergy and in the prayerful presence of the faithful people. 

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

On the joyous feast day of the Nativity of the Lord - Christmas, on 7 January 2020, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Holy Hieararchal Liturgy in the Saint Sava Cathedral in Belgrade (phоto gallery).

The solemn Liturgy, besides lots of faithful people, was attended by envoy of the President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Nikola Selakovic, Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic and Princess Katherine, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ivica Dacic, Deputy Director of the Office for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities Mr. Marko Nikolic, Mayor of Belgrade Dr. Zoran Radojcic, Apostolic Nuntio in Belgrade Archbishop Luciano Suriani, Archbishop of Belgrade Mr. Stanislav Hocevar, members of the diplomatic corps and people from cultural and public life of the capital. 

The Christmas Epistle of His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, and all hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church was read by His Grace Bishop Stefan of Remesiana, who officiated the Holy Liturgy at midnight in the crypt of the Memoral Cathedral of Saint Sava.  His Holiness was concelebrated by the clergy of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac. 

TV Hram: Christmas talk with Serbian Patriarch Irinej 

Serbian Patriarch is going to visit Banja Luka

Patriarchal Nativity Encyclical 2019

  The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2019

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

In this year of our Lord, when we once again celebrate the most-glorious Incarnation of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ – the only New under the Sun, we all hasten towards the temple of God to gather around the Divine Child, the Most Pure Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary and the righteous Joseph.