Divine Liturgy for the departed and funeral service for Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej officiated the Liturgy for the departed and the funeral service for Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana at the Cathedral church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Zagreb
According to his last wish, Metropolitan Jovan was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral church. In the presence of priesthood, monks and crowds of the faithful, His Holiness was concelebrated by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, Their Graces Bishops: Vasilije of Srem, Fotije of Dalmatia – administrator of the vacant Diocese of Zagreb-Ljubljana, Atanasije of Bihac-Petrovac, Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac, as well as Archimandrites Gavrilo from Lepavina Monastery and Mihajlo from Gomirje Monastery, and other priests. The Liturgy was also attended by retired Bishop Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla and Vicar Bishop Porfirije of Jegar, President of the Republic of Croatia Mr. Ivo Josipovic, President of the Assembly (Sabor) of the Republic of Croatia Mr. Josip Leko, envoy of the President of Serbia Dr. Mileta Radojevic, envoy of the Croatian Prime Minister Mr. Mirando Mrsic, Cardinal Josip Bozanic with other Church dignitaries, Apostolic Nuncio in Croatia Mr. Alessandro D’Errico with entourage, Secretary General of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference Mons. Enzo Rodinis, Mayor of the City of Zagreb Mr. Milan Bandic with a delegation, Mevludi ef. Arslani from the Islamic Community, Director of the Commission for relations with the religious communities Mr. Sime Jercic, representatives of the religious communities in Zagreb and Croatia, president of the Serbian National Council Mr. Milorad Pupovac, numerous eminent citizens and friends of Metropolitan Jovan. At the Cathedral church there was present Metropolitan’s younger brother Milivoj with his wife. With a short delay, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America arrived as well.
At the funeral service His Holiness, Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Irinej bade farewell to Metropolitan Jovan of blessed repose with an oration.
On behalf of the clergy, monks and faithful people Archimandrite Gavrilo of Lepavina bade farewell to Metropolitan Jovan. He emphasized Metropolitan’s love, good deeds and lessons he taught. He also pointed out that he had spent thirty years with the Metropolitan, who had always paid special attention to Lepavina Monastery.
In the hall of the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Diocese of Zagreb-Ljubljana, located next to the Cathedral church, there was an agape feast during which Serbian Patriarch, Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia, envoy of the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, president of the SNC Milorad Pupovac, held speeches evocating the life and work of Metropolitan Jovan of blessed memory.
His Holiness said that we should miss Metropolitan Jovan a lot in our life, but the Lord who takes care of everything, will take care that Metropolitan receives a worthy successor at his episcopal throne and that this Diocese, as well as the whole Church, will do what the Lord has commissioned her to do. The Metropolitan was a man of love, and such a man we need, not just here but everywhere. No problem may be solved with hatred. Problems are to be solved with love and mutual understanding. Many sufferings would be prevented and many disasters would not have happened. One should talk openly and humanely. The Metropolitan was that man, and that kind of man we need, not just here but at every position… May the Lord repose the soul of our beloved Metropolitan Jovan in His celestial abodes!
Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb, said: “Although with a sorrow in heart, because of the loss of a dear friend, I came gladly to this event out of respect for the late Metropolitan John in whom I always appreciated a kind of tranquility, in whose personality I always found a prudent man and hierarch”.
Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia mentioned in his speech the last will of Metropolitan Jovan which he wrote 10 years ago, in 2005. The Metropolitan wrote that he left all what he owned to the Diocese and that he wanted to be buried in the Cathedral church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. He wanted to forgive everyone and asked for forgiveness from everyone. Metropolitan writes: We human beings are to stick to each other. Man is great because he is an icon of God, but man is also weak. He cries for help of the fellow-neighbor. He needs God, God’s hand, but he needs a neighbor, permanently. We tend to judge each other. It is a tragedy of our time. This assignment Bishop Fotije received as a blessing, but he himself thinks that it should be continued as the Metropolitan had started it.
President of the Serbian National Council Milorad Pupovac recalled the days when Metropolitan Jovan had come back to Zagreb from a long exile and entered the church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. He would never forget that moment. People waited for him, for several hours. He couldn’t enter the church because the joy of the people was enormous. That was a sign of a great attachment of the Serbian people in Zagreb and Croatia to him and his last position as the Metropolitan of Zagreb-Ljubljana. He managed to implement many achievements although the circumstances of life were not so easy. He was a restorer of the Church, a restorer of the community and a restorer of the faith. He restored the Lepavina Monastery, to which he was particularly attached. He reconstructed the Saint Petka Monastery, the church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and this residence, and what’s more important, he restored the priesthood. We who deal with our community and its position in the Republic of Croatia, see how successfully he elected and how successfully he recovered his present clergy. He also reestablished a dialogue with all religious communities, especially with the Catholic Church. We are thankful to him for leading, building and preserving that dialogue. That was the greatest heritage that we could inherit from Metropolitan Jovan. It is up to us to do our best that this city, this country continues to build in a spirit of his efforts as the restorer.
Source: Metropolitanate of Zagreb-Ljubljana