A World Religious Summit for Peace in Sapporo

Japan

A World Religious Summit for Peace is to be held ahead of the G8 summit in Sapporo, Hokkaido, on July 2 and 3.

The world religious forum will bring together leaders of traditional religious organizations from several dozen countries, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a delegate and the deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion.

The ordinations of the new Metropolites

Metropolitans of Athens

His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymus will participate to the ordinations of the new Metropolites on the 27th, 28th and 30th of June 2008. The ordinations of the elected Metropolites will take place as follows:

Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church completed its work on the Feast of All Saints

Medvedev Aleksey

On 29 June 2008, the day when the Russian Orthodox Church commemorates All Saints who shone forth in the Land of Russia, the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church completed its work taking part in which were one hundred and eighty-three archpastors from twenty countries. His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia officiated at the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of Al Belarus, read out the Message of the Blessed Bishops' Council to the clergy, monastics and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Visit of His All Holiness to Kiev

During its regular session, held on June 23-25, 2008, The Holy and Sacred Synod reviewed the invitations of His Beatitude Alexy, Patriarch of Moscow, requesting a Patriarchal Delegation to attend the festivities of the 1020th anniversary of the Christianization of the Kievan Rus and of His Excellency Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to personally lead the aforementioned festivities.

On Vidovdan celebrated Holy Eucharist in Serbian Orthodox temples all over the world

Kosovo and Metochia St. Vitus Day (Vidovdan), a religious holiday when Serbs commemorate the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, was marked in all Serbian Orthodox Christian temples today.

Saint Lazar the Great Martyr of Kosovo

Sveti Car Lazar Prince Lazar was born in 1329 in Prilepac to the aristocrat family Hrebeljanović. His father Pribac was a Logotet-secretary doing very confidential work for King Dušan the Powerful in the royal palace. Young Lazar was raised in the palace, and was respected by the King who entrusted him with the rule of two parts of his kingdom: Srem and Mačva. Lazar married Milica the daughter of an important aristocrat named Vratko also known as Yug Bogdan - a very wise and honorable man from the Nemanjic family. Lazar had three sons: Stevan, Vuk and Lazar and five daughters: Jelena, Mara, Despa, Vukosava and Mileva.

King Dušan the Powerful died unexpectantly in 1355 at the age of 48. This led to a weakening of Serbia's central government. Many dukes used this opportunity to secede from the Kingdom with the land that had been entrusted to them. The young son of Dušan Uroš took over the throne and soon was killed. Vukašin Mrnjavčević proclaimed himself the King of Serbia. At this time, Turks were advancing toward the Kingdom of Serbia. In a battle on the river Marica in 1371, Vukašin was killed leaving behind him a weakened, poor and torn Serbia. Serbia was in desperate need of a gifted statesman, rich in virtue and deserving of God's Grace: a man similar to St. Sava and his father St. Stefan Nemanja who had founded the Serbian state. The Church recognized just such a man in Prince Lazar. His talent for leadership, wisdom and experience lifted him above those who would seize the throne by force and sought their own glory and importance.