Transfer of the relics of martyrs of Surdulica and consecration of Memorial ossuary (1924-2010) in Surdulica31. May 2010 - 11:48
Magnificent transfer of the relics of the martyrs of Surdulica rom the First World War in the renovated Memorial ossuary in Surdulica, was enhanced by series of spiritual and cultural manifestations. The central event of the transfer of the Surdulica martyrs was a service in the St. George church in Surdulica on May 29,2010. Upon the invitation of the Bishop Pahomije of Vranje, the celebration was attended by the envoy of His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch and the Holy Synod of Bishops, His Grace Bishop Ignjatije of Branichevo. The service in the St. George church began with the memorial service to the martyrs of Surdulica, and after that the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy was served.
The Holy liturgy was served by Bishops Ignjatije and Pahomije, with the concelebration of priests and monks of the Diocese of Vranje.
It was a glorious spring morning: clear blue sky, cool air gradually warming yet comfortable. The faithful, who had traveled from not only the San Francisco Bay area, but also from as far away as Los Angeles and Reno, St. Basil of Ostrog Church, Angels Camp, CaliforniaNevada, came early to the picturesque white church with the blue cupola in Angels Camp. Even His Grace, Bishop Maxim arrived very early. Rather than wait for the appointed time to begin the Divine Liturgy, His Grace spontaneously led those assembled in the Matins service. The choir from St. Sava Church in Jackson, the visiting clergy and all those present joined in and took everything in stride.
On behalf, and with the blessing of His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch, His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno, Vicar of Patriarch, served the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church of St. Great Martyr Trifun in Mali Mokri Lug in Belgrade. He was concelebrated by protopresbyter-staurophor Petar Stajic, protopresbyter-staurophor Aleksandar Sredojevic, presbyter Vladimir Markovic, protodeacon Stevan Rapajic, deacon Slavoljub Radojkovic and deacon Dragan Tanasijevic.
His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, during his official visit to the Russian Orthodox Church, arrived together with his delegation at the Valamo Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration, on May 27, 2010.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople was accompanied by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external church relations, Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk, abbot of the Valamo Monastery, Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman, and Rev. Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations.
On 27 May 2010, His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and his delegation arrived in St. Petersburg. The delegation consists of Metropolitans Michael of Austria, Irinaios of Myriophyton and Peristasis, Emmanuel of France, general secretary of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople archimandrite Elphidophoros (Lambriniadis), Archimandrite Bessarion (Komzias), Archdeacon Maximos (Vgenopoulos), and other persons.