Two Centuries Since the First Serbian Uprising
On the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple (15 February 2004), His Holiness Serbian Patriarch PAVLE celebrated the Divine Liturgy under a tent in the courtyard of the Church of the Ascension of the Lord at Orasac, with the concelebration of the host, Bishop Jovan of Shumadia, and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops: Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac-Valjevo, Bishop Irinej of Nis, Bishop Grigorije of Zaholm-Herzegovina, as well as with Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabar-Bosnia, Bishops: Lukijan of Budim, Georgije of Canada, Irinej of Backa, Artemije of Raska-Prizren, retired Bishop Atanasije of Zaholm-Herzegovina, as well as Bishop Pahomije of Vranje, Ignatije of Branicevo, Joanikije of Budim-Niksic and Vicar Bishop Marko of Dremvica of the Archdiocese of Ohrid.
The Divine Liturgy was attended by Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine Karageorgevich, together with members of the Serbian Royal Dynasty, Princess Linda and Prince Mihailo Karageorgevich, representatives of the state institutions and the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the participation of several thousand faithful. Within the framework of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising, the Patriarch held a memorial service to the participants of the Uprising, and on the this Church and Holiday, he dedicated a new monument in honor of the Leader (Duke) Karageorge, a sculpture of Darinka Radovanovic from Belgrade.
On this occasion, in his address, His Holiness the Patriarch compared the Leader Karageorge with a magnifying glass, which united in itself all the Serbian strengths, and continued by saying:
"... In the life of an individual as well as of the entire people there are moments when one has to decide, whether to remain as God's people, so that He Knows and acknowledges us when we proceed before Him; that our holy ancestors acknowledge and accept us as their descendants...
For this reason, let us bow before them and their sacrifice, following their steps in all that was right and honorable, and acceptable to our dear God. Amen."
On the occasion of two centuries since the foundation of the Serbian state, the Serbian Youth Organization, "The Doors" and the Diocese of Shumadia organized both in Belgrade and Kragujevac a Spiritual Academy with a performance honoring this Feast Day of the Meeting of the Lord, with the theme "What Have We to Offer Karageorge – The Serbian National Question Two Centuries Later". It was in Belgrade where, besides others, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and His Grace Atanasije, retired Bishop of Zaholm-Herzegovina, delivered their papers. The Metropolitan pointed out that the Serbian state was formed by saints of the Church and as such it was the only one in Europe. The Serbian state was created by St. Simeon the Myrrh-Flowing, and the Church by his son, St. Sava, the first Serbian Archbishop, and consequently all of us measure history according to their standards. Bishop Atanasije indicated that the Leader George Petrovich instigated his people to achieve the liberty of Serbia, but unfortunately we have not liberated this Serbian State 200 years after that liberation. This Festal Academy in Belgrade was attended also by Dusan Antelj, Secretary in the Secretariat for Religions in the Republic of Srpska, Prof. Dr. Rados Ljusic, Colonel Rade Rajic as well as by the representatives of "The Doors".
At the Academy at the Kragujevac High School, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije and Bishop Atanasije presented their addresses, together with representatives of the Army and the Serbian Youth Organization "The Doors".