Science

Holy New Martyrs Paisius and Avakum, in Trnava near Cacak, Serbia

After the collapse of Karageorge’s revolt in 1813, the Turks began a reign of terror against the Serbs. Disease also swept the area because of the many bodies left unburied. The people attempted another revolt under Hadj-Prodan Gligorijevic, and the monks of Trnava became involved in it. The rebellion took place on the Feast of the Cross (September 14), but it was crushed by the Turks. Many people were captured, and some were executed on the spot as a warning to others.

Some of the prisoners were sent to Suleiman Pasha in Belgrade, among whom were Sts Paisius and Avakum. The holy deacon Avakum sang “God is with us” (from Compline) in the prison cell, while St Paisius prayed. The Turks offered to free anyone who would convert to Islam. Some of the prisoners agreed to this, but the majority refused to deny Christ, and so they were put to death.

Gavrilo I, Serbian Patriarch

Gavrilo I Rajić (died 1659) was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch between 1648 and 1655. He was murdered by Turks and therefore celebrated by Eastern Orthodox Church as Hieromartyr. His feast day is celebrated on December 13.

Metropolitan

Gavrilo was born around 1605–1610 in the region of Stari Vlah into a noble Rajić family. He entered into the church service and became Metropolitan of Smederevo. In 1643, he was elected Metropolitan of Raška. Around 1644, He rebuilt the Monastery of the Holy Archangels in the Kovilje Mountains. After the death of Serbian Patriarch Pajsije on November 3/13 1647, Gavrilo was elected new patriarch in 1648.[1]

Patriarch

In 1653, he decided to travel to Russia to ask for material support for Serbian Patriarchate of Peć. After meeting with Metropolitan Arsenije of Herzegovina on Christmas Eve, he went first to Wallachia and arrived in Trgovište where he tried to reconcile the Wallachian Prince Matei Basarab with the Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. From there, Patriarch Gavrilo traveled to Russia in 1654, taking with him two books for printing: Lives of Serbian Emperors and Patriarchs and Typikon against Latin Heresy of Saint Nil Kabasilas. He was welcomed by Russian Patriarch Nikon and Russian Tsar Michael Romanov. He also participated in the famous Moscow Synod in 1658 which approved Nikon's reforms. Since he decided to stay in Russia, he wrote to Serbian metropolitans to elect a new patriarch.[2]

Soon after, he changed his mind and left Russia arriving back to Ottoman Empire in 1659. Upon return, he was accused by the Turks of being responsible for the Russo-Turkish War. he was also accused of attempting to convert some Turks to Christianity. Brought before the tribunal, he was ordered to embrace Islam. After Gavrilo refused, he was sentenced to death. He was executed in Bursa on July 18, 1659. Presbyter Pavle took his remains and buried them. He was entered on the list of Serbian saints.[3]

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Christmas Greeting of the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church

The Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church congratulates the feast of the Birth of the Divine God-Child to believers and clergy of the Christian Churches which celebrate Christmas according to Gregorian calendar and greets them with the traditional greeting:

CHRIST IS BORN! - HE IS BORN INDEED!

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia

Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia is famed as a great saint pleasing unto God.

He was born in the city of Patara in the region of Lycia (on the south coast of the Asia Minor peninsula), and was the only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God.

Saint John Damascene

John was first the chief minister to Caliph Abdul-Malik and later a monk in the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified.

Because of his ardent defense of the veneration of icons during the reign of the iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian, John was maligned by the emperor to the Caliph, who cut off his right hand. John fell down in prayer before the icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, and his hand was rejoined and miraculously healed.

The Holy Great Martyr Barbara

The Holy Great Martyr Barbara lived and suffered during the reign of the emperor Maximian (305-311).

Her father, the pagan Dioscorus, was a rich and illustrious man in the Syrian city of Heliopolis. After the death of his wife, he devoted himself to his only daughter.

Saint Joannicius of Devic

Joannicius was a Serb from Zeta. As a young man he was overhelmed with love for Christ.

He left his home and family and withdrew to the region of Ibar at the mouth of the Black River into a narrow cave in which, according to tradition, before him, St. Peter of Korish lived a life of ascetism. When his fame began to spread among the people, he fled to Drenica and hid in the thick forest of Devich. Here St. Joannicius spent years of solitude, in silence and in prayer.