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Hierarch of the Russian Church takes part in festive enthronement of Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia at Patriarchate of Peć

DECR Communication Service, 15.10.2022. 

On October 14, 2022, Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia was enthroned during the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Church of Holy Apostles of the Patriarchal Monastery of Peć. With a blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije, the service was attended by Metropolitan Hilarion of Budapest and Hungary.

The Monastery of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in Peć was founded by St. Sava I the Archbishop of Serbia (1219-1235), originally as a representation of the Zica Monastery, In 1346, it was the place where the Patriarchal Office was introduced in the Serbian Church and the monastery was named Patriarchal. In 1924, at the same place, the first Patriarch of the re-united Serbian Orthodox Church, Dimitrije, was enthroned. Later on, all the Patriarchs of Serbia were enthroned in the Patriarchal Monastery of Peć.

The rite of the putting Patriarch Porfirije to the throne took place at the sanctuary before the Apostle reading by Metropolitans Chrysostom of Dabar-Bosnia and Joannikije of Montenegro and the Littoral.

After the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Fotije of Zvornik-Tuzla read out the Synodal Act on the election of Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana as Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, Patriarch of Serbia. Then the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church was presented with the Patriarchal insignia - the crozier and sacred pectoral icon.

Addressing the assembly, Patriarch Porfirije said in particular, ‘The throne of Peć is the throne closest to God, built by our people and for this reason the Patriarchate of Peć is our most important and safe home. The Patriarchs of Peć, even when complex historical circumstances took them far away from this throne, by their hears and thoughts and all their souls were always tied to it - the Serbian Orthodox Jerusalem. Hence, the second name of our Local Church - the Patriarchate of Peć. Therefore, if even when we are far away from here, the verses the Jews sang on the Rivers of Babylon are of literary meaning to us: ‘If I forget thee, O Peć, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I forger thee, O Patriarchate of Peć’. For it is the place from which God’s blessing of St Sava and holy Archbishops Arsenije, Nikodim and Danilo, holy Patriarchs Joannikije, Jefrem, Spiridon, Makarije, Pajsije, Asrenije came and comes to all the Serbian people’.

As the Patriarch stressed, ‘Kosovo and Metohija are home for the Serbian people. We were born here for the sake of Christ, here… we saw the true light, accepted the Heavenly Spirit, found the true faith, bowed to the indivisible Trinity. And every time when we come to Kosovo, we return to it just as the prodigal son came back from abroad to the father’s house’.

 

***

On February 18, 2021, the Bishops’ Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church took place at the Serbian capital city. The Synod elected a new Primate. The electoral assembly was held in the crypt of the Cathedral Church of St. Sava-on-the-Vracar. Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana was elected as His Holiness Patriarch of Serbia out of three candidates by casting lot. The elevation to the Patriarchal throne took place the following day, February 19, after the hierarchal Liturgy at the Cathedral of Archangel Michael in Belgrade. According to tradition, the enthronement is also held at the Patriarchate of Peć (Kosovo and Metohija), the old see of Serbian First Hierarchs.

 

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