St. Vitus Day solemnly celebrated with the Holy Liturgy in the monastery of Gracanica and the memorial service at Gazimestan
Patriarch Irinej: Let us be united in honesty and patriotism
Serbian Patriarch Irinej served today on St. Vitus Day the Divine Liturgy with the concelebration of Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, retired Bishop Atanasije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and vicar Bishop Jovan of Lipljan, as well as forty priests from many Dioceses of the SOC in the fulfilled courtyard of the monastery of Gracanica.
The Patriarch said on this occasion that "freedom is the greatest gift that God gave man and the Serbian freedom is tied to the Holy Cross for which Kosovo heroes and heroes after the Battle of Kosovo had fought".The Patriarch invited all to unity in the honesty and patriotism.
The Holy Hierarchal Liturgy was attended by state secretary in the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija Oliver Ivanovic and Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Aleksandar Konuzin. After the Holy Liturgy traditional acknowledgments to mothers with three and more children were given.
After the slava lunch in the monastery Serbian Patriarch Irinej, Bishops, priesthood and faithful people went to the Gazimestan where traditional memorial service was served for the Kosovo heroes and all the Orthodox Servs who died in Kosovo and Metohija for the Holy Cross and the golden freedom from Kosovo Battle until today.
At the Gazimestan today the memorial service was served for the Kosovo heroes suffered in the Kosovo Battle. The memorial service was served by Patriarch Irinej.
After the memorial service, the Serbian Patriarch Irenej urged the crowd at Gazimestan to disperse peacefully.
This year's celebration of St. Vitus Day was unfortunately marked by incidents in which dozens of Serbs were injured as well as several Kosovo police officers.
The most serious incident occurred in the morning, when Kosovo police prevented a bus with Serbs to enter the territory of Kosovo and urged all passengers to take off their shirts that have the national emblems.The police threw Serbian flags next to the road which caused anxiety among Serbs, who then clashed with police and started throwing stones at the police. Kosovo police used firearms, against all the rules, which wounded at least twenty persons who were transported to the hospital in southern Serbia.
The police also confiscated T-shirts with national symbols at Gazimestan, but on this occasion there were no incidents. However, while the faithful from Gracanica were returning from Gazimestan , a group of young Albanians attacked Serbian yellow school buses carrying youths with stones and Molotov cocktails.
Source: Diocese of Raska-Prizren