Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

July 18, 2005


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 bell tower.

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 of humanity.

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.


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 and love.



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.


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 sermon.

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.

Source: Svetigora Press, B.C./ S.K.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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