Culture

Orthodox Christian Novak Djokovic serves Jesus on and off the tennis court

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is through to the Australian Open final after beating an injured Roger Federer in a semi-final showdown on Rod Laver Arena last night.

Currently ranked number 2 in the world, Djokovic player is a well-known Orthodox Christian, who regularly wears a wooden cross around his neck. He’s known for praying through his matches as does his wife – a practice sports commenters observe with interest:

The Capital city of Serbia celebrated the jubilee of the Serbian Church

The Capital city of Serbia celebrated the jubilee of the Serbian Church
The Capital city of Serbia celebrated the jubilee of the Serbian Church
The Capital city of Serbia celebrated the jubilee of the Serbian Church
The Capital city of Serbia celebrated the jubilee of the Serbian Church

His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, and Deputy Mayor of Belgrade Goran Vesic attended on the solemn academy “Eight centuries of autocephaly 1219-2019”, organized mutually by the Serbian Orthodox Church and the City of Belgrade in the crypt of the Cathedral church of Saint Sava in Belgrade, on 21 December 2019.

His Grace Bishop Stefan of Remesiana, Vicar Bishop of Patriarch Irinej, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dacic, Deputy Director of the Office  for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities Dr. Marko Nikolic, representatives of the National Assembly and of the City of Belgrade, members of the City Council and Secretariat, representatives of the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohia, members of the diplomatic corps and numerous citizens attended the celebration of the jubilee.

The Asceticism of Fasting: The Meaning and Importance of the Nativity Fast

A time of self-restraint and a time of prayer, a time of temptations and a time of joys: All of these relate to fasting—a special period in the life of every Orthodox Christian. Igumen Nektary (Morozov), the rector of the Church of the “Assuage My Sorrows” Icon of the Mother of God, speaks on the significance of the Nativity Fast and on the importance of even the very smallest ascetic podvig and the anticipation of the celebration.

We are used to holidays being a time of joy. Why do Orthodox Christians fast before the most significant celebrations?

—A holiday in the secular understanding and in the Church understanding are completely different things. In the world, preparation for a holiday means a shopping trip, making sure the table is covered with various foods, and thinking about how to occupy and entertain your guests. Such an approach is purely earthly. A Church feast is a celebration of another, spiritual order, giving believers the opportunity, through the remembrance of this or that event of sacred history, to touch the heart to another, Heavenly reality, and experience in all its fullness the joy of this amazing, incomparable touch.

The “Branko” Children's Choir from Nis gave a concert in Jerusalem

The “Branko” Children's Choir from Nis gave a concert in Jerusalem
The “Branko” Children's Choir from Nis gave a concert in Jerusalem
The “Branko” Children's Choir from Nis gave a concert in Jerusalem
The “Branko” Children's Choir from Nis gave a concert in Jerusalem

On the feast-day of the Holy Apostle Philip, His Beatitude Theophilus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, received His Grace Bishop Arsenije of Nis with a group of pilgrims from Serbia in the monastery of the Holy Prophet Elijah near the Holy City of Jerusalem.

It was in this monastery that the “Branko” Children's Choir from Serbia performed several Serbian, Greek and Georgian compositions in presence of the Patriarch, the Bishops and the local community. The performance was held with the blessing of His Beatitude the Patriarch and great affection and love of the Fraternal Choir of the Holy Apostle James of Jerusalem. The fraternal relationship between the two choirs dates back to a few years ago when the choir of the Holy Apostle James gave concerts in Belgrade and Nis, organized and sponsored by the Diocese of Nis. At the end of the performance, the Patriarch of Jerusalem blessed and instructed the members of the choir from Serbia and those present with Gospel words, wishing to the children to be even more zealous in glorifying God and setting a good example for the youth.