Bishop Jovan of Sumadija solemnly welcomed the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, in the first capital city of Kragujevac and the seat of the Diocese of Sumadija on January 22, 2021.
The welcome was also attended by the clergy of the Diocese of Sumadija. President Vucic visited the Sumarica Memorial Park, a place where a large number of Kragujevac residents died during the Second World War. Also, the President visited the Church of the Holy New Martyrs of Kragujevac and on that occasion, together with Bishop Jovan and the mayor Nikola Dasic, made statements to national and local TV stations.
The president said that the state would help complete the works on the Church of the Holy New Martyrs of Kragujevac in Sumarice. He also announced that the state had already started preparations for marking the 80th anniversary of the shooting of more than 2,000 Kragujevac citizens by the occupiers in the Second World War. President Aleksandar Vucic pointed out that Serbia would never forget such crimes and that it would always remember those who helped to achieve freedom. “Those who died because they were guilty because they were not on the side of the occupiers,” said President Vucic. He added that peoples who did not have a past and could not remember did not deserve a future. President Vucic pointed out that that was why it was important for the Serbian people to develop a culture of remembrance and that he was very grateful to Bishop Jovan of Sumadija, during whose time as many as 85 new churches had been built, out of a total of 380 in Sumadija.
President Vucic added that it was very important that, in addition to increasing salaries and pensions, and other things in the economy, spirituality also develops. “Without spirituality and unification of the national and the spiritual, we cannot achieve great results,” said President Vucic.
Bishop Jovan of Sumadija expressed his satisfaction with president’s visit and stated that his visit was a great gift and blessing. “The president announced that he would help complete this building. In this way, we will save from oblivion the terrible crime committed in Sumarice. A nation that is not aware of the past is not worthy of the present or the future. This is a blessed day and will go down in the history of the Diocese of Sumadija and Sumadija as the day when the President came out of love to help us complete this holy work,” said Bishop Jovan.
By the way, the works on the construction of the Church of the Holy New Martyrs of Kragujevac began in 2001, and the wish is to finish it this year when it is 80 years since the shooting of Kragujevac students, professors and citizens in 1941.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church