St Sava day at Sv Nikola parish in Brookfield IL

The Serbian Orthodox Church around the world gathered on Sunday to observe St. Sava Slava. St. Nikola Church in Brookfield celebrated Saint Sava, beginning with the Divine Liturgy followed by the blessing and the cutting of the Slavski Kolach with Fr. Nedeljko Lunich.

Our children presented a program with traditional Serbian songs and poems to honor their beloved saint. The recitals described St. Sava’s life of being born a prince and leaving his comfortable life to join the Orthodox monastic colony; choosing “the path that leads to Life.” Our folklore group, Moravac, made an exquisite traditional Serbian banquet that was enjoyed by everyone!

Saint Sava is celebrated as the founder of the independent Serbian Orthodox Church and since the 1830s, Saint Sava has become the patron Saint of Serbian schools and schoolchildren. He authored the oldest known constitution of Serbia, influenced Serbian literature as well as implemented pastoral and educational duty to the people of Serbia. His “noble ambition was to make of the Serbs a holy nation.” (Velimirovich 1951, 174). “Sava’s chief vocation was to enlighten his people with the right faith and to save them from ignorance and vice.” (Velimirovich 1951, 90). Believing that the state and Church authorities are servants of God, responsible for helping people achieve their eternal supreme end, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” was the motto used for the Serbian National Church and State. (Velimirovich 1951, 146).

Our Serbian community has been dominated and oppressed by many outside forces and civil wars which devastated the land, the churches, and the people. Because of their experiences throughout the centuries and the unfair treatment that they continue to experience, the hearts of some find it difficult to grow spiritually. We must pray to lead lives and turn towards the kind of life St. Sava envisioned for our community – to be a ‘holy’ people, ‘seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. At St. Nikola Church we would like to continue St. Sava’s endeavor of caring for the spiritual well-being of our parishioners and therefore we have implemented various educational programs for our parishioners.