The Patron saint of Novi Sad, the Serbian Athens – the renovation of the church of the Holy Great-Martyr George, was celebrated by the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy and a solemn academy.
His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa officiated on the 16th of November 2018 the Holy Liturgy in the Cathedral church dedicated to St. George, with the participation of the vicar Bishop Isihije of t Mohach, clergy from the whole of the Diocese and the faithful people of God.
The High Office was attended by the mayor of Novi Sad Milos Vusevic with his colleagues; Mr. Igor Mirovic, President of the Provincial Government, representatives of the Headquarters of the First Army Brigade in Novi Sad, President of the Serbian Matica prof. Dragan Stanic and by many other representatives of the public and cultural life of Novi Sad.
During the Liturgy His Grace Bishop Dr. Irinej delivered a significant sermon evaluating the life and deeds of St. George and actualizing his way of life in the present time, giving him as a sample for us.
At the very end of the Liturgy, he handed in the orders to the distinguished personalities of political and cultural life and to the President of the educational institution Matica Srpska.
In the premises of the Novi Sad Municipality Bishop Isihije blessed the slava cake and expressed best wishes to the Mayor and all his colleagues as well as to the whole of the Novi Sad Municipality abundant divine blessings through the intercession of the Patron Saint George.
Mayor of the city of Novi Sad, Mr. Vucevic, pointed out that the celebration of the great Church event – Renovation of the church of the Holy Great Martyr George, gives us an example how to fight and live for the things we believe in. – St. George showed that we should not give up but to persevere and, finally, to win. This is a feast-day of love, freedom, and peace, emphasized Mr. Milos Vucevic.
On the eve of the celebration, on November 15, 2018, a solemn academy was held in Studio M in the organization of the Church Community of Novi Sad. The audience was addressed by His Eminence Bishop Irinej of Backa, Milos Vucevic, Mayor of Novi Sad; the festal oration was pronounced by Mr. Pavle Stanojevic. Bishop Irinej expressed his joy that this year the city of Novi Sad is to celebrate two great anniversaries: the 100th anniversary of the union of our people north of the Sava and the Danube rivers with the Kingdom of Serbia and eight centuries of autocephaly of the Serbian Church.
“The times are difficult, temptations are on all sides. It’s not just an open wound because of Old Serbia, where we have been continually trying to survive the impact of great world powers, but the temptations have caught our Orthodox Church as a whole, due to an extremely unilateral activity of the Constantinople Patriarchate in Ukraine,” said the Bishop, calling on us to pray to God and that each one of us does what he can to contribute to brotherly love and unity in our Church.
Mayor Milos Vucevic said that it was necessary to keep in mind our famous history and tradition, to teach descendants about it and that these facts, this suffering, and resurrection of our people be a signpost for future times.
On the horrible victims of the First World War, the crimes committed against the innocent Serbian population, on the plundered, burned and demolished Orthodox churches and monasteries, on the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Great War, Pavle Stanojeviće reminded the audience in his festive speech.
The choir of the Church Community of Novi Sad St. John Damascene conducted by the deacon Ivan Vasiljevic as well as the choir of the High school “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” conducted by Mihajlo Miletic, performed spiritual and national hymns.