the Serbian Orthodox Church
September 20, 2004
DIOCESE OF BACKA CELEBRATES ITS PATRON SAINT
patron saintís day of the Diocese of Backa, the feast of the Miracle
of the Holy Archangel Michael in Honaes, was celebrated on Sunday,
September 19, 2004, with the serving of a formal religious service
in the cathedral of the Holy Great-martyr George in Novi Sad.
Participants included His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa, His Grace
Vicar Bishop Porfirije of Jegar, the entire clergy of the divinely
protected Diocese of Backa, and many faithful from all parts of
this region in Serbia.
evening services the faithful were addressed by Bishop Irinej
and Bishop Porfirije, who by their archpastoral lesson and blessing
spiritually and prayerfully strengthened the entire divinely saved
Diocese of Backa.
this occasion, before the gathered multitude of priests and faithful,
a letter from the Commander of the Novi Sad Corps of the Serbia
and Montenegro Army, Major-General Dragan Paskas on the occasion
of the patron saintís day of the Diocese of Backa was also read.
OF LIFE IN DRAGOVIC MONASTERY
itís founding in the year 1395 to the present day, the monastery
of Dragovic, the great shrine of the Cetinska region and the Diocese
of Dalmatia, has had an exceedingly difficult past. In its history
it has been destroyed and burned many times, and its monks frequently
forced to flee. During the rule of the godless Communist regime,
the monastery and the surrounding villages were flooded. The new
Dragovic Monastery was built above the old one and monks lived
there until 1995.
new phase of suffering for the monastery began in 1995, when it
was again looted and destroyed. Knowing the great importance of
Dragovic Monastery, His Grace Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia gave his
blessing to Protonamesnik Djordje Knezevic to initiate the restoration
of this holy shrine. Fr. Djordje succeeded in restoring a part
of the monastery so that monks could begin living there, and on
September 15, 2004 Bishop Fotije appointed Hieromonk Varsonufije
(Raskovic) the new elder of the monastery of Dragovic.
to the age-old tradition of Dragovic Monastery, the monastery
patron saintís day, the feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy
Mother of God, is always celebrated on the Sunday before the feast.
So it was that this year the first Liturgy and the first patron
saintís day in the renewed monastery were served on that day.
Bishop Fotije and His Grace Bishop Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac
served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of a large
number of priest-monks and priests. During the Liturgy Bishop
Fotije elevated Hieromonk Varsonufije to the office of Abbot and
Protonamesnik Djordje Knezevic to the office of Protopresbyter.
In his sermon Bishop Fotije emphasized the importance of this
holy shrine for Orthodox Serbs of the Cetinska region, saying
that the renewal of life in the monastery is a blessing of God
and the Most Holy Mother of God. Bishop Fotije thanked all donors
and philanthropists of this monastery, as well as Bishop Gerasim
for his love in coming to serve at the first patron saintís day
in the renewed monastery. This is a historic event for all Orthodox
people in the Diocese of Dalmatia, said the Bishop, because life
has been restored to yet another monastery that will continuously
celebrate the Lord. Monasteries are places of continuous prayer
and monks by distancing themselves from the world are in continuous
community with God. With their prayers they help all those who
need assistance. Dragovic Monastery, too, was once a place where
everyone, regardless of his or her religion, sought the prayerful
assistance of the brotherhood, and it would continue to be such
a place in the future. During the festal luncheon Bishop Fotije
welcomed eminent guests Mr. Milan Simurdic, the ambassador of
Serbia and Montenegro, and Mr. Ratko Gajica, Serbian deputy in
the Croatian Assembly. Mr. Simurdic expressed his thanks for the
invitation to take part in the celebration of the monasteryís
patron saintís day, and wished the new brotherhood success in
further restoration of the monastery. Mr. Gajica emphasized that
everyone in attendance at this monastery celebration would be
going home spiritually enriched, and that the monasteryís renewal
is a new sign that Serbs can stay and survive in this region.
TO KARAGEORGE IN VILLAGE OF VISEVAC
the year of the bicentennial of the First Serbian Uprising and
the modern Serbian state, an initiate has been launched with the
blessing of His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadija to erect a monument
to Karadjordje, the leader of the First Serbian Uprising, in Visevac,
the village of his birth. The monument is to be placed in the
churchyard of St. George the Great-Martyr, the endowment of Bishop
Sava Vukovic of blessed memory. The local residents of Visevac
and those originating from the village have therefore founded
the George Petrovich Ė Karageorge Fund for this purpose.
of Sumadija has chosen the spot in the churchyard in front of
the church of St. George, which has just been newly decorated
with frescoes. The monument to Karageorge is cast in bronze, 290
cm. high and is the work of academic sculptor Stanimir Pavlovic.
It is interesting that the statue is made of tank shells from
the Serbian Army donated by Serbia and Montenegro Army. The figure
depicted is in motion and showing the church with his hand. A
major donor is the owner of the Tresnja Construction Company in
Belgrade. The Fund plans to create a historic village in Visevac,
including an auditorium, for students and tourists who will come
to visit the birthplace of the greatest Serbian military commander.
Petrovich Ė Karageorge Fund asks all people of good will to help
to the extent that they are able so that the village of Visevac
can open its doors to Serbia and the world and repay its debt
to its Leader. The dinar account number at Privredna banka Beograd
A.D. is 255-0033620101000-55, and the foreign currency account
George Petrovich Ė Karageorge Fund
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