Belgrade, Serbia - Today's feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist was solemnly celebrated with the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Chapel of St. Luke of Simferopol at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade. The liturgy was served by three hierarchs: His Eminence Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands Amphilohije, His Grace Bishop Constantine of Central Europe and His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno. Seven priests and three deacons concelebrated.
A large number of physicians and medical personnel, patients and faithful attended today's liturgy to prayerfully wish a healthy recovery and God's blessing to the leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church – His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, born on this day 95 years ago and who can currently be found in this institution for treatments. In his homily His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije, speaking of St. John the Baptist and Forerunner and his sufferings, mentioned Patriarch Pavle and his life which was filled with endless preseverance and stuggle, reminding his listeners also that it is not without any symbolism that the Patriarch was born 95 years ago specifically on this feastday of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
Beside the large number of faithful, members of the administrator of the Military Medical Academy were also present, Mr. Dragoljub Acovic, member of the Crown council; Professor Vojislav Milovanovic, protoneimar of the Monument Cathedral of St. Sava in Vracar; Mr. Vojislav Kostunica, President of the Democratic Party and academic Matija Beckovic. Metropolitan Amphilohije communed His Holiness with the holy Mysteries of Christ during the Divine Liturgy.
During the day His Holiness was visited by the President of the Serbian Republic Mr. Boris Tadic and President of the Serbian government Mr. Mirko Cvetkovic who congratulated His Holiness on the feastday, wishing him good health on the occasion of 95 years of fruitful life.
An icon with the relics of St. Luke of Simferopol, a great Russian hierarch, physician, painter and confessor, brought from Russia as a gift and blessing of the Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia Kirill can be found in the chapel. The chapel of St. Luke of Simferopol is nearly complete and is only awaiting the painting of the fescoes.
Priest Nebojsa Topolic
Source: Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate