From the fourth through the seventh centuries A.D., a form of Christian religious devotion flourished in Palestine known as desert monasticism.
Drawing upon biblical descriptions of Elijah (1 Kings 17), John the Baptist (Matthew 3), and Jesus, thousands of devoted Christians departed into the wilderness, becoming hermits seeking the presence of God in solitude (Mark 1).
Paradoxically, this exodus into the wilderness began in the fourth century as Christianity was becoming the official religion of the Roman empire.
Representatives of Mostar Serbs and the mission of the Diocese of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and the Littoral, were from June 28 until July 3, 2012 in a visit to Prague, upon the invitation of Czech Cardinal Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Metropolitan Christopher of Czech lands and Slovakia, as well as friends of the Serbian community of Mostar; Vese Djorem, brothers Sparavalo, Milutin Peric and others.
On Sunday, July 1, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy with His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece and other Hierarchs at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Among those in attendance were the Minister of Education, Professor Constantine Arvanitopoulos, the Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Mr. Maximos Charakopoulos, the former President of the Greek Parliament, Mr. Philippos Petsalnikos, the the regional Secretary of Western Macedonia, Mr. George Dakis, the Mayor of Kastoria, Mr. Emmanuel Chatzisymeonidis, and various representatives of local authorities.
On Sunday the 1st of July, the 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was opened by His Eminence Archbishop Demitrios in the presence of thousands of delegates from all over the United States. This auspicious four day event brings together hundreds of clergymen and some five thousand laypeople, including the presidents of parish boards, women's auxilliary organisations, youth workers, musical directors and other departmental leaders, who gather to discuss and formulate the implementation of various programmes and strategies, critical to the continued development of the life of the Church on this vast continent.
On Friday, June 29, 2012, His All-Holiness presided over the concelebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul, and on the occasion of the Nameday of Metropolitan Pavlos of Servia and Kozani. Participating hierarchs included Metropolitans Chrysostomos of Dodoni, Nikolaos of Karpenisi, John of Pergamon, Apostolos of Milite, Chrysostomos of Messinia, Seraphim of Kastoria, Gennadios of Sassima, Joel of Edessa, Basil of Elassona, Theokletos of Florina, Pavlos of Siatista, Kyrillos of Kifisia, Dionisios of Zakinthos, Emmanuel of Kilkis, as well as Archbishop Damaskinos of Joppa and Bishop Panteleimon of Theoupolis. The service was held at SS. Constantine and Helen Church in Kozani.