BY THE GRACE OF GOD
BISHOP OF THE METROPOLITANATE OF
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
GOD’S PEACE — CHRIST IS BORN!
Rejoice, heaven and earth,
as the prophets foretold!
Celebrate in the spirit, angels and people!
God is born of a woman and appears in the flesh...
(Troparion of the Nativity Litiya)
Our much beloved Clergy and Monastics, Sons and Daughters, Our dear Spiritual Children,
It is that 'the Word became flesh' and the Master took on the form of a slave.
He became the Son of Man, though He was the true Son of God, in order that He might make the sons of men children of God.
-St. John Chrysostom, Homily 10
We remember this Christmas, our dear faithful, the abovementioned words of St. John Chrysostom, which explain the birth of God from the Virgin Mary. It is always important, especially during these festal days, to have before our eyes an image of God, Who out of love towards us “lowered Himself to raise up man.” By the recalling to our consciousness of the great sacrifice of God, we can correctly understand our relationship with the All-loving Father, and especially the general joy of the Nativity, which is offered to us.
On the feast day when our holy Church celebrates Holy Martyrs deacon Avakum and abbot Pajsije, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch served the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy at the church dedicated to this confessors of the Christian faith, who suffered by the Turks in 1814 in Belgrade.
In the church in Altina, Serbian Patriarch was concelebrated by priests of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac and the Diocese of Canada in the presence of many believers. The service was attended also by vicepresident of the municipality of Zemun Mr. Damir Kovacevic and endower of the church Mr. Zdravko Rajacic. After that there was the holy communion of children and people and blessing of the slava cake.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, received Mr. Velimir Ilic, Minister of Construction and Urbanism, with associates yesterday on 30 December 2013 at the Serbian Patriarchate. Today His Holiness met with Mr. Milovan Vitezovic and Mr. Slobodan Jocic at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.