On Sunday, January 25, 2015, parishioners of Saint George Serbian Church gathered to commemorate one of the most important and significant saints of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Saint Sava. This very important celebration reminds Orthodox Christians, and especially Serbian people, of the tremendous impact Saint Sava has on our lives. Saint Sava, who was born Ratsko Nemanjic in 1174, was a Serbian prince, first Archbishop of Serbia, and one of the most influential figures in Serbian law and literature. He left a life of royalty to become a monk in his youth; he influenced his father, Saint Simeon, to do the same, and subsequently founded Monastery Hilander on Mount Athos, which is still to this day one of the most revered cultural and religious centers for Serbian people. Saint Sava is surely one of the most historically and culturally significant saints in the Serbian Orthodox Church. I grew up understanding that Saint Sava was the patron saint of all Serbian people, and especially, Serbian children. Celebrations on this day give Serbian people the great opportunity to express their attachment to the Fatherland, wherever they may live throughout the world, and to remember the example our beloved Saint Sava has given us in regards to how to live our lives according to the Orthodox faith.
This year's celebration of Saint Sava in Zagreb began with the Holy Liturgy in the chapel of Saint Sava, at the Serbian Orthodox Grammar School Kantakuzina Katarina Brankovic, which was officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Dr. Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana.
The Metropolitan was concelebrated by Archimandrite Danilo, hierodeacon Venjamin, hieromonk Nikon, protopresbyter-stavrophor Slobodan Lalic and deacon Branimir Jokic. Then the Metropolitan blessed the slava cake and held a sermon regarding the feast day of Saint Sava.
Archimandrite Vasileios (Gondikakis) gave a lecture at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Manhattan on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, the feast day of St. Sava the first Archbishop of Serbia. His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America offered a Serbian translation to Fr. Vasileios' talk.
On Sunday, January 25, His Grace Bishop Dr Maxim visited the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, Arizona, for their Patron Saint Day Celebration.
On this beautiful, sunny Arizona day Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace along with V. Rev. Lazar Vasiljevic, V. Rev. Stanislav Djuric, Rev. Deacon Zoran Aleksic and host priest V. Rev. Dragomir Tuba, with a great number of faithful people present. His Grace tonsured Michael Devic and Jovan Tuba to the rank of a Reader.
In the full hall of the Croatian House in Vukovar, the central Diocesan Saint Sava Academy was held on 25 January 2015.
Beside the competent Bishop, His Grace Lukijan, monks and priests, the Academy was attended by many high guests from the social and cultural life of the Serbs of the Diocese of Osek-Polje and Baranja as well as by Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in Vukovar Mr. Zivorad Simic. After the intonation of the Anthem of Saint Sava, His Grace Bishop Lukijan opened the program with a welcome speech.