by St. Gregory Palamas
1. The commemoration of each of the saints on the appointed feast day is an occasion for town and country, citizens and their rulers to share in rejoicing, and brings great benefit to all who celebrate. “The memory of the just is praised”, says the wise Solomon (Prov. 10:7 Lxx), “When the righteous is praised the people will rejoice” (cf. Prov. 29:2 Lxx). If a lamp is lit at night, its light shines for the service and enjoyment of everyone present. Similarly, through such commemorations, each saint’s God-pleasing course, his blessed end, and the grace bestowed on him by God, because of the purity of his life, bring spiritual joy and benefit to the whole congregation, like a bright flaming torch set in our midst. When the land bears a good harvest everyone rejoices, not just the farmers (for we all benefit from the earth’s produce); so the fruits which the saints bring forth for God through their virtue delight not only the Husbandman of souls, but all of us, being set before us for the common good and pleasure of our souls. During their earthly lives, all the saints are an incentive to virtue for those who hear and see them with understanding, for they are human icons of excellence, animated pillars of goodness, and living books, which teach us the way to better things. Afterwards, when they depart this life, the benefit we gain from them is kept alive for ever through the remembrance of their virtues. By commemorating their noble deeds, we offer them that praise which, on the one hand, we owe them for the good they did our Ancestors, but which, on the other, is also fitting for us at the present time, on account of the help they give us now.
Among the Church's feasts, there are three in honor of God's saint which in their significance stand out from the others devoted to the saints and are numbered among the great feasts of the Church of Christ. These feasts glorify the economy of God for our salvation.
These three feasts are the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, his Beheading, and the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
The apparition of the holy Archangel Gabriel to the priest Zacharias in the Temple, with the announcement of the birth to him and the righteous Elizabeth, of a son who would prepare the way for the Lord, the Savior of the world, and the subsequent fulfillment of this premise, are the first of the events related by the Evangelists.
During his “Vidovdan 2015” voyage to the Diocese of Western Europe His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America had a very fruitful visit.
On Saturday, June 27, accompanied by Fr. Zeljko and Novak Bilic, the Bishop visited the monastic community of the Nativity of the All-Holy Mother of God in Bois-Salair (West France). The abbess of the monastery Héléna with six sisters offered a warm reception. Bishop Luka of the Serbian Diocese also gave a cordial welcome to bishop Maxim in Paris.
On occasion of the Serbian Saint Lazarus Day, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Gracanica Monastery in Kosovo and Metochia, with the concelebration of Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Their Graces Bishops Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, Jovan of Slavonia, retired Atanasije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and the priesthood and monks from some Dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Following the Liturgy, in which about thousand believers participated, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch said that today all Serbs were spiritually on Kosovo.
His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren with the priesthood, monks and the faithful,welcomed His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej at Gracanica monastery, Kosovo and Metochia, on the eve of the greatest Serbian Church national holiday, St. Lazarus of Kosovo Day.
Next to Patriarch Irinej, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and Their Graces Bishops retired Atanasije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and Jovan of Slavonia also were present.