His Holiness the Patriarch of the Serbian Irinej, who visited the church of the Holy Apostle Thomas and the Serbian Church-Church Community of St. Sava in Johannesburg on October 24, 2018, was welcomed by the Archbishop Damascene of Johannesburg and Pretoria and priests of the Serbian Church and from other Orthodox Churches, as well as by the Serbs living in the largest city of South Africa, gathered around the church in St Thomas built in 1978.
Patriarch Irinej emphasized: “I am grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to visit this wonderful remote land and all our people who have built their own households here and have promoted their commitment to their Church, which is the Mother of us all. Save what is most important – your faith Orthodoxy for which our ancestors offered their lives.
The Serbian Church cares about her flock. Where there is a spiritual flock, there must also be a spiritual shepherd to lead and guide his flock. This is a commandment of Christ and of the Apostles. Although we have been scattered all over the world due to some circumstances and troubles, we must know which people we belong to and to cultivate what we have received from our ancestors, and the most important thing is the Orthodox faith,” said His Holiness the Patriarch and reminded:
“Whichever people we might belong to, we are all people of God, we bear the image of God in ourselves, in Christ Jesus we are all one and we are called upon to respect our Father and fellow-neighbors as our brothers … Let’s leave aside some of the things that may disturb our relations, but let us implement what is eternal – gift and blessing of God to live in love, in a spiritual kinship,” said the Patriarch.