And He spoke also this parable unto certain men who trust in themselves that they are righteous, and despise others. "Two men went up unto the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. And the Pharisee stood and prayed thus to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of mankind, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or as this publican. I fast twice in the week. I pay tithe of all that I gain.' But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up even his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful unto me the sinner.' I tell you that this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For every one that exalts himself shall be abased, and he that abases himself shall be exalted" (Luke 18:9-14).
On February 2nd, 2017, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, presented an Order of Saint Sava of the Second Degree to Mr. MilovanVitezovic at the Serbian Patriarchate.
The solemn award ceremony was attended by members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Their Graces Bishops: Irinej of Backa, Justin of Zica, Fotije of Dalmatia and Teodosije of Raska-Prizren. In the decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops, which was read during the ceremony by the Secretary general of the Synod, protopresbyter-staurophor Dr. Savo Jovic, was pointed out that the high distinction of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the order of Saint Sava of the Second Degree was handed to Mr. Milovan Vitezovic, writer and playwright from Belgrade, for his demonstrated love for the Holy Mother Church, as well as for decades-long fruitful work in the field of Serbian literature and culture, persistently contributing to the preservation of spiritual and traditional values and the Serbian people.
A meeting on the project to translate the Bible into Russian sign language was held in Moscow on January 27. The participants, representing the patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service, the Institute for Bible Translation, the All-Russian Society for the Deaf, clergy working with the deaf from various dioceses, sign language interpreters, and the deaf community, decided to begin with the Gospel of Mark, reports the site of the Moscow Patriarchate.
St. Peter is commemorated on this day because of the chains with which he was shackled by the lawless Herod and which fell from him during the appearance of an angel in prison (Acts 12:7). The chains were preserved by Christians as much for the memory of this great apostle as for their healing power, for many of the sick were healed by touching them, as was case with the apron of the Apostle Paul (Acts19:12). St. Juvenal, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, gave these chains as a gift to the Empress Eudocia, the exiled wife of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. She divided them into two and sent one half to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople and the other half to Rome, to her daughter, Empress Eudoxia, the wife of Valentian. Eudoxia built the Church of St. Peter and placed these chains in it, together with those chains with which Peter was shackled before his death under Emperor Nero.
Enlightener and First Archbishop of the Serbs (+1235)
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and His righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you.
He Serbian Grand Zhupan (Patriarchal leader) Stephen Nemanja had two sons, Stephen and Vukan; yet, he and his wife Anna desired, if it be God's will, to have another child. Their pious prayers ascended before God, Who heard their petition and blessed them with their last child, a son who was born in the year of our Lord 1175. At baptism the child was given the name Rastko, a name derived from the Old Slavonic verb "rasti" which means "to grow." And grow divinely he did. There were many special things about Rastko: he was a lovely child, with pronounced features and smooth skin, and possessed, already in his childhood, an unusually alert and pious demeanor. Little did Rastko's parents and all those of the Royal Court (and even the entire Serb nation) realize that his birth and baptism into Orthodoxy would providentially set in motion their own historical and spiritual journey, which would result in the blossoming of their Christian faith, nation hood and total Christian cultural orientation. This young child, Rastko, whose monastic name later was Sava, became and still remains the most beloved of all Serbian Orthodox saints, considered by all Serbs everywhere and at all times as the ultimate expression and example of what it means to be fully human, that is, what it means to be a devout and committed follower of Jesus Christ.
In truth God as a man was born on earth! Why? That we might live through him (1 John 4:9). For without the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, human life is wholly and completely a suicidal absurdity, and death is truly the most outright and horrible absurdity on earth. To comprehend death means comprehending life in all its depth, height, and limitlessness.