St. Vitus' Day formally celebrated

Celebrating Saint Vitus' Day, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people mark 621 years since the feat of the Serbian army which defended in Kosovo in 1389 its lands and the Christianity from the mighty Ottoman empire.

The central celebration of St. Vitus' Day in Kosovo and Metohija today started with the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy which was served by His Holiness IRINEJ, Serbian Patriarch with the concelebration of Metropolitan Amfilohije, Bishop Atanasije and Bishop Teodosije as well as 20 priests from many Dioceses of the SOC. More than hundred believers from many parts of Kosovo and Metohija and Serbia participated in the Holy Liturgy in front of the Gracanica church.

The state of Serbia was today represented by Minister for Kosovo and Metohija Goran Bogdanovic and Minister of Faith Prof. Dr. Bogoljub Sijakovic with associates. Besides them Ambassador of the Russian Federation HE Alexandar Konuzin with his associates and a group of Russian cadets, the head of the Russian office in Kosovo and Metohija  Andrej Sugurov, the head of Greek office in Prishtina and the EU special adviser for the issues of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo Dimitris Moshopoulos, the head of the Norvegian office in Kosovo and the great benefactor of the humanitarian actions for the Serbian returnees in Kosovo and Metohija Sverre Johan Kvale with few foreign diplomats were also present at the Holy Liturgy and the memorial service at Gazimestan.

After the Holy Liturgy Bishop Teodosije presented the orders "Mother of the Jugovics" to mothers of many children. Sister Evrosinija prepared for all the invited and the present people the feast day's luncheon.

At 13:00 hours, when the majority of people gathered which had come from many parts of Serbia to Kosovo and Metohija, the traditional memorial service was held to the killed Serbian soldiers in the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 at Gazimestan. Several thousand people from Serbia, Montenegro and the Republic of Srpska have gathered in front of the monument to the Kosovo heroes. A group of monks before the memorial service sang the Serbian hymn "Lord, Give Us Justice", and the Russian cadets then sang also the Russian hymn as the sign of the traditional friendship and the communion of our two nations.

The Memorial service at Gazimestan ended today's the Saint Vitus' Day celebrations which gathered the greatest number of the faithful from all Serbian lands in the post-war period.