Our faith is alive in Montenegro and it is a great encouragement and joy for the whole of Serbia, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia said at the festive academy in the courtyard of Podlastva Monastery while celebrating the 800 years of the autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the 1,500 years of existence of the monastery.
The Patriarch expressed his great joy and gratitude to the Lord Jesus for having given him power and strength to participate in that great spiritual joy. “This is a joy that is not only the joy of Montenegro and Montenegrins, but of the whole of Serbia. I think it is a joy for Serbs in Serbia as well as for Serbs around the world. In a way, both this event and this joy, rare and great, will reach them, said Patriarch Irinej of Serbia.
He added that this was very important news, because it was believed that the faith in Montenegro had died out. The Patriarch recalled the times between 1988 and 1989 when Montenegro had been in a difficult spiritual condition. “What I see today: these churches that have decorated the areas around us, the revived clergy, live monasticism – it is truly a miracle of God, a great encouragement for all of us,” said Patriarch Irinej of Serbia.
Thanking God for having given us a great number of saints, we have to imitate them and perceive what is eternal and unforgiving, and to implement it in our lives, the Patriarch emphasized that there is a living faith in Montenegro, a living Church, which had existed here since the first days when the word of God was spread.
Let the Serbian people be unanimous in Montenegro, Serbia and in the whole world where our Orthodox people live. May God be with you and bless you now and for ages of ages, Amen,” said the Patriarch at the festive academy in the Podlastva Monastery.
A rich cultural and artistic program was performed at the festive academy. A greeting address was pronounced by Jovan Markus, a publicist and former mayor of Cetinje, while Nikola and Bojana Pekovic, Vera Stolic, Danica Crnogorcevic, Serbian Orthodox Chanters the Choir of the Serbian Choral Society Jedinstvo from Kotor, folk musician Stevan Cavor and the Grbalj Choral Society performed the programme.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church