Patriarch Porfirije and five thousand schoolchildren at a magnificent ceremony in the church of Saint Sava

Published On: 03/02/2024

Organized by the Committee for Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Belgrade–Karlovci, this year’s Saint Sava Assembly of Elementary School Pupils was held in the church of Saint Sava on Vračar.

From the early morning hours, the square in front of the church of Saint Sava Temple began to fill with the youth of the Serbian capital. Thousands of Belgrade schoolchildren, having entered in the utmost order and prayerful silence into the church of God built by Serbs in honor of their first Archbishop and enlightener, greeted their Patriarch with undisguised love and sincere childish joy. What followed was perhaps one of the most magnificent scenes in the history of the Cathedral church of the Serbian people. Over five thousand Belgrade pupils, their teachers, and catechists gathered under the vaults of the memorial church of all Serbs, together with their Patriarch, recited the Lord’s Prayer and sang the Hymn to Saint Sava in unison, then attentively listened to the paternal message of the First Hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church:

– Dear children, God be with you! I rejoice, along with all the Bishops present here today, that you are in the church of Saint Sava because this is our home. By coming here, we all together confirm that we are children of Saint Sava, his disciples, his brothers and sisters, his friends. We show that what Saint Sava did, which is love with his whole being towards God, towards our people, especially towards children, is what unites us, what brings us here to the church, and what makes us able to call ourselves children of Saint Sava.

– What is most important besides praying to Saint Sava? The most important thing is to know that we should do everything to love each other, and thank God, it is so. First, we love our moms and dads, we love our brothers and sisters, and then we love our friends. And if we love each other, then we can, like Saint Sava did, love the whole world, all human nature, animals and plants, seas and mountains, forests and streams, in short, everything that is within us and around us. Loving Saint Sava and loving each other does not mean that sometimes we will not do something wrong, but the one who loves as we love each other is ready to apologize if he has done something wrong to those he has wronged. Likewise, when we have love, we are ready to accept apologies, to forgive those who have offended us or done something we do not like – emphasized Patriarch Porfirije, concluding:

– We should be aware that we have no greater friend than God, because Saint Sava was the greatest friend of God, so he remained our closest friend. It is up to us to do everything we can to be better and more successful everywhere and in every place. When something does not go well for us, then it is very important to know that Saint Sava is with us, and we shoult turn to him in prayer, and he will then convey it to God or pray together with us to God. It is certain that if we are persistent, if we are patient, sooner or later we will overcome obstacles. We truly love all of you and know that you love each other. Keep that and you will always have joy, beauty, and peace in your hearts. May the Lord bless you all!

Patriarch Porfirije then distributed Saint Sava presents to the children and stayed in joyful fellowship, conversation, and photography with them for a long time.

The magnificent ceremony was attended by Vicar Bishops of the Serbian Patriarch with the priestly brotherhood of the church of Saint Sava. The program of the Saint Sava Assembly of Elementary School Pupils was led by actors Sloboda Mićalović and Viktor Savić, while the Rastko Children’s Choir and the Choir of the church of Saint Sava embellished today’s ceremony with their wonderful singing.