by Konstantinos Menyktas
Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia and Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Monastery of Saint Joakim Osogovski (aka St Joakin of Osogovo).
Metropolitans Agatangel of Povardar, Grigorije of Kumanovo-Osogovo, former Metropolitans Josif of Kumanovo-Osogovo and Jakov of Dorostol (Bulgarian Patriarchate), Bishop Nectarije of Jegar and vicar of the Serbian Patriarch concelebrated the Divine Liturgy. Clergy from the Ohrid Archdiocese and the Romanian Orthodox Church were also present during the celebration.
In his sermon, Serbian Patriarch Porfirije addressed the present Metropolitans, Bishops, and clergy.
He said among other things: “We celebrated the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. After Jesus Christ the Son of the Most Holy Theotokos, and God, the Theotokos is in second place. During every prayer we appeal to the Most Holy Theotokos, because she gave birth to our Savior, but she is one of us.
The Most Holy Theotokos interceded with our Lord on our behalf and for our sake, and therefore being one of us, but also as the Mother of our God, she better understands our needs and our weaknesses, ” he added.
“The temple, which is next to the main church, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary herself,” he said.
“We are all brothers and sisters within the Church of Christ!” he added.
“Saint Joakim Osogovski and his contemporaries pray for the unity of the Church. They showed that to become one with Christ we must be one with the whole world.
It is a great pleasure to be here today, in this holy temple. We celebrated the Divine Liturgy and showed that knowledge, intelligence, skills, success are important things. However, without prayer, without the grace of God, all this lasts only for a little bit and it is meaningless.
“Your Beatitude and Eminence, who live here, may the Lord bless you all together along with your pious flock, so that we can continue to visit this holy temple and every holy temple in the country, as well as every Orthodox temple in the world.”
Finally, he gave the Archbishop a gift as a souvenir of the important day.