NEWS AND EVENTS - Tuesday, December 15, 2015
CELEBRATION OF THE NEWLY GLORIFIED ST. BISHOP MARDARIJE
Libertyville, IL - The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday, December 12, on the feast day of St. Mardarije of Libertyville and America-Canada at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville. His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and Coastlands officiated with the concelebration of His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America, His Grace Bishop Jovan of Slavonia and His Grace Bishop Sava, retired bishop of Slavonia, together with the concelebration of 30 clergy. In attendance was also His Grace Bishop Peter of the Russian Church Abroad and twenty other priests. Singing the responses was the New Gracanica choir under the direction of Marija Savic, assisted by singers from greater the Chicago parishes. The Divine Liturgy was magnificent indeed, filled with the spiritual presence of St. Mardarije, the first Serbian bishop of America-Canada, who dedicated himself to the construction of St. Sava monastery, becoming its benefactor. He sacrificed himself in completing this deed and among the chronicles it is written of him, "In buildng the church he is dying of hunger...". Those were truly difficult years of depression in America. It is said that in all of greater Chicago only the post office and St. Sava Monasteyr in Libertyville were being constructed.
The church was filled with faithful, so that all of them could not fit, but were in the church courtyard. There were nearly 300 in attendance at the Divine Liturgy.
At the Divine Liturgy Bishop Longin first greeted everyone, expressing the significance of this day, when we commemorate the greater laborer and we can freely say martyr, St. Mardarije. He thanked the bishops and clergy who took part in this beautiful celebration.
Metropolitan Amphilohije delivered the homily. He spoke of St. Mardarije, his life, in praise of this Saint. His beautiful words fell like fragrance on the hearts of those in attendance. Some even wept. And how could they not for this was very exciting. For, we Serbs give this country Saints, who will stand before the throne of God and pray for all of us, as well as the American people.
Many approached the Holy Chalice and communed for this was a unique event, the first Divine Liturgy to St. Mardarije of Libertyville.
After the Divine Liturgy the Diocesan Kolo Sestara under the direction of Mira Andjelkovic, prepared a wonderful meal for everyone at New Gracanica Monastery. The Sisters offered their hospitality to all in attendance.
A short program followed, led by V. Rev. Stavrophor Dr. Milos Vesin. Taking part in the program were five girls and two seminarians. The girls sang a few songs dedicated to St. Mardarije and Patriarch Pavle of blessed repose. The two seminarians recited poems about St. Mardarije. Thunderous applause followed.
This celebration ended with prayer and a blessing with the note that next year on December 12 the newly glorified Saint will be canonized at which event His Holiness Patriarch Irinej will take part together with many hierarchs and representatives of other Orthodox churches.
Through the prayers of the newly glorifed Saint Mardarije of Libertyville, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.
V. Rev. Stavrophor Nedeljko Lunich