Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia served at the Square of Serbian Warriors in Kraljevo the memorial service to the victims of the NATO aggression on March 24, 2022.
Read below the sermon of Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Today as always, we begin our address, dear brothers and sisters, with the Name of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we say these words, when we say the Name of God, we mean first of all love, absolute love, inexpressible and indescribable to people, and then we think of everything that comes from such love: the creation of everything, the entire cosmos, the universe; creation of everything that we can feel with our senses, but also of everything else that we do not see and do not encompass with our senses. Everything was created from that love and through that love, through the harmony of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and the pinnacle of creation, the pinnacle of God’s love is man, the human being.
Dear brothers and sisters, the man was created through God’s love, created for love, for harmony, for further creation, free without boundaries, already in the second generation commits his greatest sin, the sin of fratricide. Our wonderful saint and ruler Serbian despot Stefan Lazarević, describing in the Word of Love the tragedy of the first murder in the history of the world, elegantly, subtly and restrainedly writes that Cain, alien to love, said to Abel: “Let’s go out into the field!” From then up to the present day, this scene has been repeated many times and it is constantly repeating. The murderer of a brother, alien to love and all that is holy, annuls and abolishes another man, abolishes his neighbor, but he does not know that he is thus annulling his own person, because he attacks his own nature. Therefore, every murder is a fratricide, for all people were created as children of God and as brothers to each other. Every single murder anywhere in the world is a tragedy, disgrace, and defeat for the entire humankind.
Today we gathered here in Kraljevo to offer a prayer, to commemorate the victims in a due manner, but also to cure and heal the wounds inflicted by an organized anti-humanity, wounds that are the consequences of the magnum crimen committed against our Serbian Orthodox people in 1999. It is the irrefutable fact that at that time nineteen countries participated in the Cain-like crime, bombing, destruction of our people and our country, destruction followed by media fabrications and trade of truths and lies, by slandering us, our Church, our people. We were then confronted with an unscrupulous evil, the force that did not take into account law and justice, as then or ever. Power and force were and still are the only criteria. At that time, we were faced with an evil before which the mind stops, before which we remain speechless, without words, but our silence differs from the one of Adorno who said that after Auschwitz we should not sing, we should not write poetry. No, dear brothers and sisters, our suffering, from the first Martyr, the Protomartyr Christ the Lord, turns silence into strength, into prayer, into the power of prayer for all who suffer innocently.
Prayer is our inspiration for creation, for art. Therefore we pray for our brothers and sisters who suffered death in the NATO aggression on Serbia, but we also pray for all those who are suffering death anywhere today. We pray for peace in general, for the peace of the world. We pray today, especially for the cessation of the conflict in Ukraine, we pray for peace in the Middle East, in Africa, everywhere. We pray that we all understand and that everyone understands that we are all connected to each other, that we need each other. All people are brothers and all people are our brothers. Our brothers are even those who persecute us, to whom we are even today a target. We pray for them, we also pray for those who slander us. We will not persecute them and we will not slander them, but we will speak out and testify to the truth for their and for our own sake. Our suffering must not manifest itself as holding grudges, it must turn into a strength for witnessing truth, justice, love, and peace, strength for forgiveness and repentance. It must be manifested in life in every good and in a life in Christ-like virtue. We need God’s help for that, and we today, remembering and praying for the innocent victims of the NATO bombing, persistently call that help upon us and unceasingly demonstrate that we humans are in need of God’s help, that we cannot exist by ourselves, that we cannot overcome the truth that our neighbor is Cain, that man is Cain to another man. Therefore, o Lord, enlighten our darkness and make all people true children of your own and true brothers among themselves.
We call on all gathered here today, in the time when we are through the Great Lent preparing ourselves to welcome the most joyful Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to devote ourselves to mutual reconciliation, mutual forgiveness, and gaining love and peace of God, peace that transcends every mind.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church