Serbian Orthodox Church
“Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church and with choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and bishops worship, apostles and prophets rejoice together, since for our sake she prays to the pre-eternal God.” [Kondak]
On October 14, 2014, the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos – “Pokrov”, His Grace Bishop Longin, many clergy, nuns, singers, seminarians, and the faithful gathered for a day of spiritual enrichment and joy. On this day, the Slava of New Gracanica, Bishop Longin also celebrated the 15 year anniversary of his installation (by Metropolitan Amfilohije at New Gracanica) and welcomed the Serbian Clergy Brotherhood who held their annual meeting in conjunction with the Slava.
Upon the invitation of the Church-school congregation in Trieste, His Grace Bishop Andrew of Austria-Switzerland attended at the solemn reception for members of the Church-school congregation of Trieste, representatives of the Consulate of the Republic of Serbia and friends Italian in the parish hall Risto Skuljevic.
On this occasion, SCA Society Pontes – Mostovi organized an ethnic dinner, with traditional Serbian dishes. Consul General of the Republic of Serbian awarded SCAS Mostovi for unselfish help and support that it provided to the affected people in Serbia. Before this solemn reception, Bishop Andrew hold a lecture at the City pastoral centre Studium Fidei, upon the invitation of Archbishop of Trieste Mons. Giampaolo Crepaldi.
After months of planning, the choral workshop, symposium and concert of choral works commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Serbian composer Stevan Mokranjac is now a fond memory. The Serbian Singing Society Branko Radichevich and Serbian Singing Federation's months of planning and revision finally took form starting on a chilly Friday evening, the 3rd of October, when participants in the choral workshop arrived at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on Chicago's northwest side. Out-of-town presenters representing two continents, Dr. Danica Petrovic, musicologist and Mokranjac expert from Serbia and His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand also arrived Friday evening. Dr. Petrovic made the first of her three presentations during the weekend, discussing the history of Serbian liturgical music prior to Mokranjac. Friday's gathering also served as a "meet and greet" for all present.
The second day of the visit began with the memorial service at the Serbian military cemetery, Zeitinlik.
On this occasion, father Sava, who has taken care about the graves and the cemetery as a whole for decades, was honoured. Serbian Patriarch solemnly decorated him with the order of the Serbian Orthodox Church, for the unselfish love towards neighbours, towards the Orthodox Church.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus arrived to Thessaoloniki on 17 October 2014, in a three-day visit to the Metropolitanate of Neapolis and Stavropolis. The Metropolitanate organized a visit of the Serbian Patriarch on the occasion of the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, since more than 7500 Serbian victims of the Great War rest on its territory within the one section of the Allied military cemetery.
Patriarch Irenaeus is accompanied by Their Graces Bishops Chrysostom of Zvornik-Tuzla and Justin of Zica, protopresbyter Gajo Gajic and deacon Igor Davidovic. Host, Metropolitan Barnabas of Neapolis, welcomed the first hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the airport and accompanied him to the Cathedral church of Saint John at Neapolis.
The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, held on the 14 October, is a well beloved day in the Russian Orthodox Church. In Australia, this is emphasised by the fact that we have two parishes dedicated to protection of the Virgin Mary; the Protection Cathedral in Melbourne and the Protection Church in Cabramatta, NSW.
The saintly Grand Duke Andrei Bogolubsky (1155-1174) originally introduced the Feast into Russia in 1160, after become acquainted with the Don Cossacks and seeing their devotion to the miraculous vision of the Mother of God over Constantinople in 911 AD, decided to dedicate his realm to the protection of the Heavenly Mother. In 1164, Grand Duke Andrei instructed the Russian Church to include the Feast of the Protection into the church calendar and this started a period of church construction dedicated to the Protection - "Pokrov"; the most famous church of that period is the unsurpassed "Pokrov on the Nerli" built in 1165 near the Grand Duke's residence at Bogolubovo.