the Serbian Orthodox Church
SERBIAN PATRIARCH PAVLE SERVES IN BELGRADE
SUBURB OF MEDAKOVIC
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy yesterday, on the feast of St. Jovan Vladimir, in the church of St. Jovan Vladimir in the Belgrade suburb of Medakovic. On that occasion, the Serbian Patriarch broke the slava cake and wished the clergy, slava host Milovan Jovanovic and all who celebrate on this day a happy church patron saint’s day.
MOST PRECIOUS RELIC OF THE METROPOLITANATE OF MONTENEGRO AND THE LITTORAL TO VISIT RUSSIA
With the blessing of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All-Russia and Serbian Patriarch Pavle and with the participation of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called Fund an agreement has been reached regarding the transfer, for purposes of veneration, of the right hand of St. John the Baptist to the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to the agreement reached between the Russian Government (Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation) and the Government of Montenegro (Ministry of Culture of Montenegro) and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral, the right hand of St. John will be in the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church from June 7 to July 16, 2006, at which time it will return to Cetinje.
This is yet another in a series of great religious processions involving relics of the Orthodox faith in recent years on the territory of the Russian Orthodox Church. By way of reminder, the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church have already been visited by the following holy relics: the head of the Holy Great-Martyr Panteleimon from Mt. Athos, the holy relics of Venerable St. Elizabeth the Martyr from Jerusalem, the holy relics of St. Andrew the First-Called, the wonder-working icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Pochayevo, etc. Interest in the right hand of St. John the Baptist is enormous among the Russian Orthodox public. Russian pilgrims regularly visit Cetinje Monastery to venerate this holy relic.
Three great holy relics – a Particle of the Holy Cross, the wonder-working icon of the Most Holy Theotokos Filermosa (Our Lady of Philerme) and the Right Hand of St. John the Baptist traveled a long historical journey to Cetinje: from Jerusalem through Constantinople they arrived in the possession of the the Knights of St. John the Baptist, who captured them during the Crusades. At first they were located in Rodos and then from the middle of the 16th century to Malta, where they became known as the Knights of Malta. During the Napoleonic Wars the grand master of the Knights of Malta turned the holy relics to the Russian Orthodox Tsar Pavel I Romanov for safekeeping. The formal transfer of the holy relics from Malta to the Imperial Palace took place on October 20, 1799 according to the Old Calendar. They were guarded at the Romanov Palace in Petrograd whence they were periodically taken to the imperial summer palace at Gatchina until the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1918 when they were taken out of Russia by Maria Feodorovna Romanov , the mother of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nikolai II, to Copenhagen (she was a Danish princess). Prior to her death she turned them over to the eminent Russian bishop Antonije Hrapovicky, who brought the holy relics through Berlin to Belgrade.
They were presented as a gift to Serbian King Aleksandar I Karadjordjevic as a sign of the gratitude of the Russian people and the Russian Church for receiving a large number of refugees from Russia. The holy relics were guarded at the Royal Palace in Dedinje (Belgrade) until 1941, when King Peter II Karadjordjevic and Patriarch Gavrilo Dozic left them with the Administration of Ostrog Monastery for safekeeping. The holy relics were confiscated from Ostrog by the Republic Government of Montenegro in 1952 and transferred to the state treasury. From the treasury, the Hand of St. John the Baptist and a part of the Holy Cross of Christ were turned over to then Metropolitan Danilo Dajkovic in Cetinje Monastery, while the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos Filermosa was given in 1978 to the State Museum in Cetinje, where it remains today. The Hand of St. John and the Particle of the Holy Cross were first guarded in the treasury of Cetinje Monastery; since 1993 they have been presented for public veneration in the reliquary with the holy relics of St. Petar Cetinjski, and later in the paraklis (chapel) dedicated to St. John the Baptist, which is also located within the Monastery. During his visit to Montenegro and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All-Russia blessed the faithful with the Holy Right Hand.
A church-state delegation from Russia appointed for managing the religious procession with the Holy Hand in Moscow and throughout Russia will be arriving in the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral on June 6, 2006 by special plane. On that occasion, on the same day, an evening moleban (prayer service) to St. John the Baptist will be served, and the next morning, on June 7, His Eminence the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije will serve Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in Cetinje Monastery with the concelebration of the clergy of the Metropolitanate and the Russian Orthodox Church beginning at 6:00 a.m. After prayers in the monastery a moleban will be served before the Holy Hand beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the church of the Resurrection of Christ. Upon the conclusion of the moleban delegations of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral will leave by special plane at 11:00 a.m. for Moscow. The delegation is headed by His Eminence the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije and his associates and the members of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called Fund. On the same day, upon arriving in Moscow, Metropolitan Amfilohije will formally present the Holy Hand to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All-Russia in the church of Christ the Savior on the eve of the feast of the Third Finding of the Head of St. John the Baptist, and on the day of his enthronement as Patriarch of Moscow.
His Holiness Alexy II of Moscow and All-Russia will serve Holy Liturgy on June 8, 2006 in the church of Christ the Savior in Moscow with the concelebration of His Eminence the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije and numerous hierarchs and clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church. The holy relic will be in Moscow until June 16, when it will travel to other dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church, including the cities of Minsk, St. Petersburg (where it spent almost 150 years), Ekaterinburg and Kiev, whence it is scheduled to return to Cetinje on July 16, 2006.
The Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral calls on the clergy and the faithful to take part in this blessed event and thus express their prayerful respect for the Holy Hand that was placed on the head of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan two thousand years ago. This event reinforces the evangelical love between our brotherly Slavic peoples. Collectively multiplying our prayers to “the greatest born of woman” St. John the Baptist, we expect that this religious procession and pilgrimage with this Holy Relic will contribute to our common repentance, blessing and salvation.
ANNUAL EXHIBITION OF ICONS AND FRESCOES AT THE ACADEMY FOR ARTS AND CONSERVATION
On Wednesday, June 7, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. the year-end annual Exhibition of Icons and Frescoes will open in the studio of the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Academy for Arts and Conservation, Kralja Petra I Street no. 2.
The exhibition will present icon and fresco works created during the 2005/06 academic year and all guests will also be able to see works by students of the Academy in the field on video.
SPIRITUAL EXHIBITION NEAR ST PARASKEVA CHAPEL IN KALEMEGDAN
From Thursday, June 8, to June 12, 2006, a spiritual exhibition will take place on the plateau in front of the chapel of St. Paraskeva (Sv. Petka) presenting books of theological and spiritual content, icons, frescoes and other church artifacts. Dr. Radomir Popovic, the elder of Ruzica Church and the chapel of St. Paraskeva, will open the exhibition, and the Serbian Men’s Choir directed by Djordje Pavlovic will be performing. On Friday at 6:30 p.m. Vladimir Dimitrijevic will be speaking on “The path of salvation at the beginning of the third millennium”. On Saturday at 6:30 p.m. the book “Christians in the World” will be presented and Protopresbyter Ljubomir Stojanovic will give a lecture. On Sunday the exhibition will be closed with the chanting of the Ruzica Church choir directed by Nebojsa Cvijanovic.
LECTURE ON THE RESTORATION OF NOVO BRDO IN THE INSTITUTE FOR THE PROTECTION OF CULTURAL MONUMENTS
On Thursday, June 8, 2006, Dr. Predrag Ristic will give a lecture on “The Restoration of Novo Brdo – The 1990 Project” in the facilities of the Serbian Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, Radoslava Grujica Street no. 11, Belgrade.
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