On 25 May 2023, on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord – the Savior’s Day, His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije served the Holy Liturgy in the Church of the Ascension in Belgrade, next to the relics of Saint Bishop Nikolaj of Serbia, which were brought the day before from the Lelić Monastery.
On the occasion of the Patron Feast Day of the Church of the Ascension and the City of Belgrade, the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral kyr Joanikije and Their Graces Bishops Irinej of Eastern America, Isihije of Valjevo and Justin of Western Europe, concelebrated with the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in the presence of city officials and a number of faithful people.
– It is a great blessing that Saint Bishop Nikolaj visits Belgrade. This world, which lies under the sway of the wicked one, used to call Saint Bishop Nikolaj a Nazi, his name was banned, and countless people were arrested and imprisoned for mentioning him. Saint Bishop Nikolaj walked the apostolic path, sacrificing himself for Christ, and leading us to Christ and the eternal Heavenly Kingdom. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ – in the same way that He rose from the dead with his Human nature and the power of His divinity – ascended with His body and made human nature a participant in the eternal and ineffable glory of God. This means that the path of God’s glory is also open to us, to become co-partakers of that eternal glory and eternal life of God. This feast reveals the fullness of the meaning of human life, it reveals where human belongs, not the darkness and shadow of death; but his final place is with Christ, the Most Holy Theotokos, and with all the Saints in the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it is very important to keep the holy faith pure and as it should be in everything, and that is precisely what Saint Bishop Nikolaj, the greatest Hierarch and teacher in the Serbian people after Saint Sava, testified to us, while leading his people to Christ, not only at the time he walked on earth but also after his repose and until today. His word today cuts through the darkness and illuminates the paths of our life – emphasized Metropolitan Joanikije.
After the consecration of the Slava offerings prepared by the host of this year’s Slava, Mr. Milenko Đeletović, and the procession around the church, Patriarch Porfirije served a memorial service in front of the cross in the yard of the Church of the Ascension for the victims who perished in the Nazi bombing of the capital in 1941, as well as for all the victims who suffered on 3rd and 4th May of this year in the municipalities of Vračar and Mladenovac.