the Serbian Orthodox Church
MILESEVA – SYMBOL OF ETERNAL
RENEWAL AND PROGRESS
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle served Holy Hierarchal
Liturgy on Sunday, July 17 in Mileseva Monastery with the concelebration
of Their Eminences Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabro-Bosnia and Metropolitan
Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral; Their Graces Bishop
Hrizostom of Bihac and Petrovac, Bishop Nikanor of Banat, Bishop
Lukijan of Osijek Polje, Bishop Pahomije of Vranje, Bishop Joanikije
of Budimlje and Niksic, and Bishop Filaret of Milesevo; and the
monks and priests of the Diocese of Milesevo. Following the service,
His Holiness consecrated the renewed monastery dormitory and
On this occasion Patriarch Pavle again sent a message of peace
and Christian love with the paternal advise that we should live
with everyone in peace. He emphasized that Milesevo is a place
where prayers have been offered for centuries for peace and justice,
which are necessary to us now, regardless of faith and nation,
that even now we are living with people of different faiths and
that we should live in peace.
Addressing those present Bishop Filaret first welcomed His Holiness
and brother Bishops. In his sermon he emphasized that fortunate
is he who listens to the voice of the Church for she has never
abandoned her people, and never will. Speaking about the monastery
itself, the Bishop said: “What the grave of Our Lord Jesus Christ
in Jerusalem is for all Christians in the world, the grave of
St. Sava at Mileseva is for all Serbs.”
The restoration of Mileseva’s small dormitory was completed
last year. As part of this work the bell tower of Mileseva Monastery
was transferred and is now located east of the monastery church.
Work also began on the restoration of a dormitory built 121 years
ago. Archeologists of the Serbian Institute for the Protection
of Cultural Monuments conducted some archeological excavations
of the terrain at that time and located the foundations of a
building built at the same time as the monastery church of Mileseva,
at the beginning of the thirteenth century.
The imperial lavra of Mileseva Monastery, the endowment of King
Vladislav, grandson of Stefan Nemanja and son of Stefan the First-Crowned,
was built around 1219, and the body of St. Sava reposed there
after his holy relics were transferred from Bulgaria to Serbia
in 1236 by King Vladislav.
Circa 1235 the monastery was illuminated by the greatest masters
of fresco painting and it is now a part of the collective treasury
For centuries Mileseva was the spiritual and artistic nucleus
of the Serbian people. The church was destroyed and restored
many times. Mileseva is among the most frequently destroyed and
looted monasteries; it suffered this fate in the fifteenth, sixteenth,
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first great restoration
after Turkish rule occurred in 1863 thanks to Prince Milos Obrenovic.
Despite the fact that the church was destroyed and restored
many times, exceptional parts of the original frescoes have been
preserved. Among them are the frescoes of the White Angel, the
Mileseva Theotokos, and portraits of the rulers from the Holy
Dynasty of the Nemanjic, which are the most faithful likenesses
of its members.
Following Holy Liturgy and the consecration of the restored
dormitory, bells and bell tower, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch
Pavle presented medals and gramata to philanthropists and donors.
Medals presented to donors
Bishop Filaret expressed his special thanks to the assistance
of the Serbian Government and especially Minister Velimir Ilic
for the restoration of the monastery dormitory.
“We are also extremely grateful to the ministers of religions
and culture in the Serbian Government, the director of Serbian
Railways, Vaso Micic of Putevi in Uzice, and the director of
Toza Markovic,” said the Bishop.
The eight most deserving donors were honored yesterday in Mileseva
with the Order of St. Sava. Among them was Ratiborka Milicevic
from Belgrade, who donated 20,000 euros toward the purchase of
the large bell.
FIRST FEMALE MONASTERY IN DALMATIA
On July 17, 2005 His Grace Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia served
Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the memorial church of St. Kyriake
(Sv. Nedelja) the Great-martyr in Ocestovo.
On that occasion this holy shrine was proclaimed a female monastery.
Thus the monastery of St. Kyriake the Great-martyr became the
first female monastery in the Diocese of Dalmatia out of a total
of six monasteries.
This renowned Dalmatian assembly and the proclamation of the
monastery of Ocestovo was attended by several thousand faithful
who traditionally come to this holy shrine on pilgrimages.
Construction of the memorial church of the Diocese of Dalmatia
dedicated to St. Kyriake the Great-martyr in Ocestovo began in
1928 because Orthodox Dalmatians, especial residents of the village
of Ocestovo, wanted to build a church in the birthplace of the
great Bishop of Dalmatia, Stefan Knezevic (1853-1890).
The church is dedicated to St. Kyriake the Great-martyr, who
enjoys special respect among the Orthodox in Dalmatia, as attested
to by the great number of other churches built in her memory.
Until its consecration in 1960 the church of St. Kyriake belonged
to the parish of Padjani, and in 1960 it became an independent
parish church. In keeping with tradition Orthodox Dalmatians
gathered in assembly at Ocestovo the first Sunday after St. Peter’s
Day, when this memorial church of the Diocese of Dalmatia formally
celebrated the feast of St. Kyriake the Great-Martyr.
Because of the importance of this memorial church of the Diocese
of Dalmatia, which throughout its history became a place for
pilgrimage and veneration not only of Orthodox faithful but also
Roman Catholics and members of other faiths, Bishop Fotije proclaimed
the church of St. Kyriake the Great-martyr in Ocestovo a monastery
on July 13, 2005.
By the proclamation of the monastery of Ocestovo this holy site
will become a place for continuous gathering and spiritual rebirth
of God-desiring people in this region and all those who will
in the future come to this holy shrine with fear of God, faith
THE PATH AND THE TRUTH AND LIFE IN KOSOVO – BETWEEN CHRIST AND
THE POWER OF THE GREAT
His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral
participated in a Spiritual Academy entitled “The Path and the
Truth and Life in Kosovo between Christ and the Power of the
Great” held on July 14, 2005 in the courtyard of the church of
the Deposition of the Precious Robe (Polaganje Rize) of the Most
Holy Theotokos in Bijela near Herceg Novi, which marked the celebration
of the patronal feast of this church.
Everything that is happening in our history is happening in
the sign of Christ’s crucifixion but also in the sign of the
power of God and Christ’s Resurrection, said Metropolitan Amfilohije
in his address. We have experienced the New and Old Testaments
in our blood, in our being and we have called it the Kosovo Covenant.
It is not something new but something already in the life of
our people, our history and our being, the interweaving in the
most ideal manner possible of the very thing that is the New
Testament and within it, the Old Testament, the alliance of God
and humanity. In this instance it is an alliance of God and one
of the peoples of this world, the Serbian people. All of our
history is in the sign of this and such a covenant. In it there
is great antinomy and many illogicalities when it is seen with
human reason. Therefore, it is no wonder that we Serbs are accused
and told, what sort of people are you when you celebrate your
greatest historical defeat as a triumph/ It is difficult to feel
and understand this logic. And as long as each individual, and
a people, do not realize this divine logic they cannot consider
themselves a mature person nor a historically mature people,
said the Metropolitan.
Participants in the program included the Rozdestvo (Nativity)
Children’s Choir from Bijela, and students of religious instruction
who performed a medley of songs entitled “To our people with
love”. Gusle player and bard Rajo Vojinovic performed, and the
guests of honor were the members of the Kosovo Peony (Kosovski
Bozur) ensemble, children from Kosovo and Metohija led by actress
Ivana Zigon. They led the prayer of Kosovo children “Crucified
Kosovo”, which was welcomed with frequent bursts of applause.
Source: Svetigora Press, Z.K./ S.K.
CONSECRATION OF FOUNDATIONS
OF CHURCH OF SUDIKOVA MONASTERY
On July 16, 2005 His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlje and
Niksic consecrated the foundations of the church of the Entry
of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple (Vavedenje Presvete
Bogorodice) at the monastery of Sudikova.
Our Holy Shrines have the power to gather the people through
their crucifixion and their glory. They have the power to be
resurrected. Today after a long time and after much effort and
planning we have begun a good beginning for the restoration of
this Holy Shrine. May God grant that everything is completed
well and that soon we can see it with a roof, decorated and made
beautiful and one day, I hope soon, consecrated so that prayers
can be made in it to Our Lord and Savior, so that we may gather
here and restore its glory, said Bishop Joanikije during his
The patron of Sudikova Monastery, Mr. Milo Djuraskovic, together
with Bishop Joanikije, placed the cornerstone and began the great
restoration of this ancient Holy Shrine. The bishop blessed his
endeavor with the following words: God has not abandoned us but
has move the heart of this honorable and industrious gentleman,
a native of your Budimlje. Your benefactor is not someone from
far away but one of your own kind and from your own town. From
today he builds his love also into this Holy Shrine and he deserves
to carry the elevated title and honor of patron and restorer
of the church of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the
Temple at Sudikova Monastery.
The Bishop also made mention of the just deserts of Sister Agnija,
who has accepted the task of reviving the Holy Shrine of Sudikova
after so many centuries.
This Holy Act was attended by a large number of faithful from
the Berane region.
Svetigora Press, B.C./ S.K.
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