NEWS AND EVENTS - Monday, July 17, 2017
OUR HOLY HIERARCH, FATHER MARDARIJE, PRAY UNTO GOD FOR US!
In prayerful grandeur and unexpressible joy clergy, monastics and the faithful, led by His Holiness Archbishop of Pec, Metropoitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Irinej, gathered at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, near Chicago, for the pan-Orthodox glorification of the newly revealed St. Mardarije of Libertyville and All-America, the first Serbian Orthodox Bishop of America and Canada.
In prayerful anticipation of the Divine Liturgy officiated by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and the Litiya with the reilcs of St Mardarije of Libertyville and All-America on Sunday, July 16, 2017, joining in the prayers in Libertyville were also Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands and many hierarchs from the US and Canada, as well as clergy who can from the pan Orthodox fullness, rejoicing in this unique event.
The central celebration, the Divine Liurgy on Sunday, July 16, 2017, was preceeded by many activities in honor of St. Mardarije at St. Sava Church, in an exceptionally well organized atmosphere led by His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwest America.
Upon arriving in Chicago, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and the church dignitaries from the homeland were welcomed by Bishop Longin and the dean of the Holy Resurrection Cathedral V. Rev. Darko Spasojevic, many clergy, monastics and faithful people.
The doxology prayer followed and then Vespers. Bishop Longin offered warm words of welcome after Vespers.
A press conference followed Vespers after which, in the Holy Resurrection Church Hall, with the blessings of Metropolitan Amphilohije the film "A Silent Corner of Christ" premiered about St. Mardarije, produced by Svetigora (a production of Ostrog Monastery). After the successful premiere which was warmly received by all those in attendance, fellowship continued with a lecture given by Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands on the topic: "St. Mardarije: God is Wonderful in His Saints."
On the eve of the day of the central celebration, Saturday, July 15, 2017, the Divine Liturgy was served in New Gracanica, in the monastery dedicated to the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, located in the suburbs of Chicago on Third Lake. This Church of God is a replica of Monastery Gracanica in Kosovo and Metohija. In his homily His Holiness said: "Thank you, dear Bishop, for your welcome, that the Lord and all our brothers and sisters gathered here today in the Home of our Heavenly Father which is also our home. We are here on a beautiful occasion during these days - to celebrate an exceptional person whom we have not acquainted ourselves with that well and just now, based on the information and tradition, we see how great of a person he was before God and among the Orthodox people. St. Mardarije lived the life of an apostle, a repeated life of St. Sava and other saints and so this is an occasion that we once more give thanks to the Lord who has given us such a person in whom the heavens rejoice and the entire Orthodox Church, not only our Serbian. He belongs to to all churches and with his holy life he has rejoiced all Christians in this world. We are coming from your "old country", from your land and our land, where your churches are, your gravestones, to remind you and that you know that your Church has not forgotten you and has not neglected you. Even though we are scattered, there is one power that keeps us in spiritual and blood unity - and that is our community, our Church. And our Church has sent here our joint saint, St. Mardarije who completed his apostolic work here, to concern himself with you. In this rich land there are many people who keep their faith, language and culture as we should to as well. We should not be ashamed of our faith, for we are a people who has know for God who has dedicated beautiful saints to the Lord. We should be proud of the leaders and people who had: St. Simeon - Nemanja, St. Sava, King Milutin, St. Vasilije..and now the newly revealed St. Mardarije. Do not forget your roots. There is no reason for us to be ashamed of our faith, our history and cutlure. Preserve your faith, brothers and sisters, for the treasures of this world come and go, but the only treasure that remains is faith in God, life in His Church in Christ. That is treasure. We bring nothing to this world and we take nothing for it. Man leaves everything but his deeds. May the Lord give us the strength we need. Glory to God who has given us a Saint who lives in this country and who will bring many to the Church. May St. Mardarije lead us down the path the Lord travelled and he travelled. May this day be blessed! In our joint prayers to God we pray to our St. Mardarije.
The delegation then returned to St. Sava Monastery where the clergy and faithful gathered once more for the Vigil service on the occasion of the glorification of St. Mardarije. The Russian Orthodox Men's choir of St. Vladimir's Academy in New Yorked added to the prayerful atmosphere, under the direction of Adrian Fekula. Many faithful remained to late at night in fellowship and in anticipation of the Divine Liturgy and celebration of the newly revealed St. Mardarije of Libertyville.