The Metropolitan of Montenegro serves at the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow (+VIDEO)

Moscow, October 17, 2022

Photo: mitropolija.com

His Eminence Metropolitan Joanijike, Head of the Serbian Orthodox Metropolis of Montenegro, is currently in Moscow to host and bless the “Serbian Comfort for the Russian Heart” festival tomorrow, which will include an evening in honor of his predecessor, the ever-memorable Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro.

Arrived in Moscow this weekend with His Grace Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia (Croatia), the Montenegrin Primate celebrated the Divine Liturgy yesterday morning at the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow, reports the Metropolis of Montenegro.

Expressing his great joy at having the chance to serve with the Sretensky brothers, the Metropolitan said in his speech after the service that in this difficult time, it is very important that we pray together and feel the sufferings and tribulations that we all live in our own way:

We know from our Christian experience that prayer can help the most, especially when we encounter difficulties and troubles. Prayer brings us closer to God, brings us back into the arms of God, and when we are close to God, we think completely differently than when we are far away; we feel and see reality completely differently from closeness to God than when we distance ourselves from God. Of course, when we walk away from God, the source of life and eternal light and the joy of eternal life, we sink into darkness and all we see is dark, sad and difficult. And when we return to God, who is the source of light, all reality is transformed, and it is especially important that we see the face of our neighbor in a more beautiful light.

Meet. Joanikije also noted that the day marks the feast of Saint Paisije, the Patriarch of Peć, who was the first to establish close ties with fraternal Russia as a program of the Serbian Church. He particularly pointed out that Montenegro and the Church there managed to survive during the times of the Great Turkish Yoke due to its close ties with Russia.

Photo: mitropolija.com

“When we are gathered around Christ, we are safe and strong and we look with hope and with a bright vision to our future,” His Eminence said, emphasizing the importance of Church unity.

He also expressed his gratitude for the comfort and encouragement Russian Patriarch Alexei II and Metropolitan Kirill (the current Patriarch) showed to the Serbian people when Yugoslavia collapsed. And now that Russia is going through a difficult time, “I can pray for you and for peace”, Met. Joanikije said “for overcoming temptations and for a just solution to these temptations which today affect the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian people and the Russian state”.

Meet. Joanikije then presented Sretensky Abbot John (Ludischev) with a pectoral cross, and Fr. John presented him with an icon of the new martyr Hilarion (Troitsky), whose relics are precious to Sretensky.

Meet. Joanikije and Bp. Jovan will solemnly open the “Serbian Comfort for the Russian Heart” festival in Moscow tomorrow.

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