Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

June 6, 2006


One of the greatest of Christian holy relics, the right hand of the Holy Prophet, Fore-runner and Baptist of the Lord John, will be leaving tomorrow from the capital of Cetinje on a forty day long blessed visit to Orthodox Russia, the country from which it was serenely withdrawn during the whirlwind of the Bolshevik Revolution in long ago 1918.

In a telephone conversation Hieromonk Petar (Dragojlovic), a brother of the Cetinje Monastery presently studying in Moscow, said that the return of the Hand of St. John the Baptist to Russia is first of all an enormous blessing for this martyred confessional side of the Christian ecumene. The holy relic comes from the south bringing with it the manifestation of the spiritual warmth and fire of God’s love which became openly manifest through the cry of St. John to all the people and nations: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." [Mat 3:2]

“Recently all of Orthodox Russia seems to be aquiver with an intangible anticipation until tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. when the Right Hand of the greatest man ever born of woman will arrive at Vnukovo Airport in the south suburb of the Russian capital and megapolis that is home to 15 million inhabitants, Moscow. Several hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, numerous spiritual leaders and representatives of the Russian Federation will welcome the Right Hand of the first apostle and the final prophet St. John upon its arrival. After a short prayer service at the airport itself, at exactly 6:00 p.m. the Holy Relics carried in the arms of the Archpastor of Montenegro, His Eminence the Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije during the course of an all-night vigil will be turned over to His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II in the church of Christ the Savior in Moscow,” Hieromonk Petar told Radio Svetigora.

“After the vigil His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II will deposit the holy relics in a specially protected place prepared earlier, which will be guarded by the clergy of the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches as well as many members of the Russian security service.

“What will then begin can only be experienced in Orthodox Russia. Tens of thousands of faithful from throughout the land, an immense river will converge toward the mouth of the blessing of the Lord, the Hand of St. John the Baptist. Venerating the holy relics will be a great accomplishment because it may require waiting in line for as long as eight hours on the day after the arrival of the Hand of St. John,” said Hieromonk Petar.

His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Alexy II will serve Holy Divine Liturgy with the concelebration of His Eminence the Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Kyr Amfilohije and many hierarchs and priests of the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches on the first day after the arrival of the important holy relics, on Thursday, June 8, in the church of Christ the Savior which will further spiritually enhance this comprehensive triumph and give the seal of fullness to the whole event.

“So that no part of European Russia is denied the blessed presence of the Hand of St. John, on June 16 the holy relic will leave the capital of Moscow and arrive in Nizhnyi Novgorod; on June 19 it will visit Cheboksary; on June 21 Ekaterinburg in the Urals; on June 24 Chelyabinsk; on June 26 Saratov; on June 29 Mineralnye Vody, a town in the Caucus; on July 1 Rostov-on-Don; on July 3 the capital of Byelorussia, Minsk; on July 6 St. Petersburg; and finally, on July 12 Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, whence it will return by special plane to Montenegro on July 16,” said Father Petar.

The length of the trip of the Hand of St. John the Baptist through Russia will be exactly forty days and the event will be covered by numerous media houses, both state- and church-operated. Special publications and monographs have also been printed for this occasion that will inform all those interested with the Hand of St. John and its travels through history. As well, atakists and molebans to the Baptist of Christ will be printed, his hagiography as well as a short illustrated history of Cetinje Monastery.

As Hieromonk Petar said in his statement for Radio Svetigora, “All Orthodox Russia is in anticipation, the air is aquiver with an amazing blessing from the arriving holy relic from Montenegro which constantly and tirelessly calls on every person to repent. His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II has also written and printed a special encyclical in the spirit of the call to all-national repentance.”

Source: Svetigora Press - S.K.


On the Sunday of the Holy Fathers His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb and Ljubljana served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in Mala Tresnjevica (hierarchal district of Bjelovar). In this small village located in the foothills of Bilogora Holy Hierarchal Liturgy was served after almost two decades in the desecrated and destroyed church of God.

Father Milomir Gvojic, parish priest of Bjelovar, and Father Milan Topic, parish priest of Zagreb, concelebrated the service with His Eminence. The few Orthodox Serbs who remained in this region gathered to welcome their bishop and to pray to God in the same place where their fathers and grandfathers prayed for centuries.

Metropolitan Jovan cheered the faithful not to falter in spirit but to thank God for everything despite all difficulties and undertake the restoration of the destroyed church. He emphasized that the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana would do everything in its power to restore the destroyed and devastated church but that it was also important that they themselves, although few, participate actively in this process.

Source: Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana


As part of the Orthodox Forum, Forum host Goran Radenkovic, professor at St. Sava Seminary in Belgrade, will hold a conversation on various dogmatic and theological topics with His Grace Bishop Ignatije of Branicevo. The event is scheduled to take place Thursday, June 8, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. in the Vuk Karadzic Culture Hall, Kralja Aleksandra Boulevard no. 77a.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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