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.
The adoption of the Law on the Serbian Armed Forces in December 2007 provided conditions that religious services could be organized within the Serbian Armed Forces. That move was supported by all traditional Churches and religious communities. The Government of Serbia passed a decree on the introduction of religious services in the Serbian Armed Forces on 24 March 2011, and later on it signed similar agreements with the representatives of seven traditional Churches and religious communities.
We have an exquisite joy and a great pleasure to inform the public that Bishop Dr. Ignatije of Branicevo will be a guest speaker at this year's fraternal meeting and confession of the clergy of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand, which will be held in Melbourne from 26 to 29 March 2014.
On the occasion of the national holiday – the Liberation Day of the Greeks from Turkish rule and the Liberation uprisings from 1821, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej served on 23 March 2014 the Divine Liturgy with Thanksgiving at the Patriarchate chapel of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher in Belgrade.