Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

June 25, 2004


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle received Prince Vladimir Karadjordjevic and his wife, Princess Brigitte, in the Patriarch’s residence today. His Holiness informed Prince Vladimir of the difficult conditions under which the Serbian population in Kosovo and Metohija is living and described the March pogrom against the Serbs by Albanian terrorists. Prince Vladimir expressed his concern for the survival of the Serbian people and its holy shrines in the Serbian province.

Prince Vladimir Karadjordjevic and his wife, Princess Brigitte, arrived in the Serbian capital on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 from Germany in order to spend the great Christian feast of St. Vitus Day (Vidovdan) under the wing of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle received the vice-president of the Serbian Unity Congress, Mr. Nenad Vukcevic, in the Patriarch’s residence on June 25, 2004. Mr. Vukcevic was received together with children from San Marcos, California, USA, who are guests of the Serbian Unity Congress. Mrs. Ljiljana Pantovic, the leader of the Serbian Cultural Group from California, headed the children’s group. On this occasion His Holiness urged the children to keep their faith in God and to be the best representatives of the Serbian Orthodox people everywhere in the world.


On Saturday, June 26, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle will consecrate the site for the construction of the first church in the Belgrade suburb of Kaludjerica. It will be a great day for the residents of the largest suburb in Serbia who have been waiting for 19 years for their wish to be realized. The site for the construction of the church is a former football field. The residents of Kaludjerica have been patient and determined in their campaign to obtain permission to build the church. The first request for approval of the location for the church was submitted to authorities on March 26, 1985 but it was rejected. After times changed and the government became more understanding with respect the spiritual needs of citizens and their need to have their own churches, many locations were approved for the construction of churches. Twenty-five churches were built in the city and suburbs but Kaludjerica still remained without its own church. The revision of the urban plan finally made this possible and a cross on the dome of a church to be dedicated to Sts. Joachim and Ana will shine over Kaludjerica. Architect Milan Tomic prepared the building plans and the residents of Kaludjerica will do construction work with their own funds.

On Monday, June 28, 2004 on St. Vitus Day (Vidovdan) His Holiness will serve Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the monastery of Gracanica.


The ruins of a medieval monastery in Dici came back to life on May 25, 2004 [June 7 according to the Julian calendar used by the Serbian Orthodox Church] on the feast day of the Third Finding of the Precious Head of St. John the Baptist. On this day Holy Liturgy was served on the foundation of the medieval monastery. With the blessing of Bishop Chrysostom of Zica this liturgical assembly brought joy to the faithful of the villages of Dici and Donji Banjani. After many years, perhaps even several centuries, there was a smell of incense and a bloodless sacrifice was offered in the location where our ancestors built a church, prayed to God and celebrated St. John the Baptist. Holy Liturgy bridges the past with the present and prepares the way for entrance into the eternal Next Century. Liturgy was served by Presbyter Svetolik Markovic, parish priest of Ljig, and Bozidar Bova, parish priest of Boljkovac, together with Deacon Goran Milovanovic. The students of the Dici Elementary School sang at the Liturgy with their religion teacher Vladan Terzic, Priest Miodrag Markovic and teacher Danko Kovacevic.

In his sermon the officiating priest Svetolik Markovic reminded the faithful of the need to restore holy shrines, including this endowment of the leader Vlgdrag from the age of the Nemanjices: “One of the greatest necropolises of the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th centuries is this one in Dici. The tomb cover found in the interior of the church bears an inscription giving the death of the patron-endower as 1327. That is why we need to follow the example of our holy ancestors and honor the word of God, the Gospel of Christ, that we may be true sons of the Lord and win eternal life. For this is the true measure and purpose of our life here on earth.” The host of the patron saint’s day celebration was Dragan Ninkovic of Dici.

The foundation of the church is located near the Ibar highway some eight kilometers from Ljig. Approximately 15 years go the Valjevo Institute conducted archeological excavations for the Protection of Cultural Monuments under the direction of archeologist Zeljko Jez. Unfortunately, due to lack of resources the excavations were not completed. This year’s prayerful gathering aims to begin the process of spiritual renewal and the launching of an initiative for the restoration of the destroyed holy shrine. Many of our monasteries and churches were destroyed and restored over time; by building and restoring their churches, Christians build and construct their own paths to the Kingdom of God. We hope for better days when the restoration of the monastery will also be possible, as well as the restoration of all churches throughout the land of Serbia. Until then we must do what we can and be responsible before God and humanity. We invite all those with ties to Dici and Donji Banjani and the Rudnik-Kacera region to assist in the restoration of our holy shrine.

Presbyter S. Markovic


On Tuesday, June 22, 2004 renowned director Emir Kusturica arrived in Moscow to attend the sixteenth Moscow International Film Festival. According to and Kusturica also plans to visit Orthodox shrines in the Russian capital. The acclaimed director acknowledged that the dominant influence on his work was that of Russian culture and on this occasion expressed the desire to see as many icons, frescoes and mosaics as possible and to be present at religious services.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2004 Kusturica received a lifetime achievement award at the Moscow International Film Festival following the premiere screening of his picture "Life Is A Miracle." He received the recognition from Festival president, Mr. Nikita Mihalkov. The award is given at each festival to a deserving director or actor. Recipients in past years have included Robert Deniro, Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve and Jack Nicholson. It is a honor to be in their company. Commenting on the decision to award Kusturica, Mihalkov said that whether one likes Kusturica’s films or not it is unquestionable that he has left his mark on the history of film as an original creator.

Expressing his gratitude, Kusturica said that he did not expect to receive a lifetime achievement award at the age of 48. “As a third year student of the Prague Film Academy I watched Nikita Mihalkov’s ‘A Slave to Love’ and I became a slave to film,” said Kusturica.

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[Serbian Translation Services]

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