On Sunday, August 31/13 September 2020, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of Serbian Saints and the Memorial of the Martyrs of Jasenovac, in the Monastery of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, in Jasenovac, in the Diocese of Slavonia, the Serbian church dedicated to the Holy New Martyrs of Jasenovac was consecrated.
The Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana presided over the rite of consecration of the chapel and the Divine Liturgy. The Metropolitan was concelebrated by the Bishops Jovan of Slavonia, Joanikije of Budva-Niksic, Grigorije of Dusseldorf and Germany, Irinej of East America, Andrej of Austria-Switzerland, Sergije of Bihac-Petrovac and retired Atanasije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina, as well as the clergy from several eparchies.
After the Gospel reading, Bishop Gregory held a sermon. He spoke about the importance of memory, but also the dangers of resentment.
After the last prayer, the host, Bishop Jovan, addressed the church assembly, who greeted the present hierarchs, guests and the gathered people. Bishop Jovan said that bishops from various parts of the world gathered in Jasenovac to consecrate the church, just as at the time when the temple of the Holy Sepulcher was being consecrated, hierarchs from the Council of Tire came to Jerusalem by boat to consecrate the first of the temples of the Church of God. Speaking about the newly consecrated chapel, the Bishop pointed out:
“This is the winter church, the first in the Serbian people, the first in the Church of God, the first in the Serbian Church, the first place dedicated to the new martyrs of Jasenovac.”
After the host’s address, memorial plaques were consecrated to the merchant Mihailo Blagojevic, the president of the Church Municipality of Pakrac, who was killed in Jasenovac, and the recently deceased historian Zarko Vidovic, who survived captivity in the Jasenovac concentration camp.
After the release of the Liturgy, the faithful gathered at the Jasenovac memorial area, where Bishop Andrej performed the rite of blessing wheat and cakes on one of the mounds. Bishop Andrej addressed the gathered, calling the Jasenovac execution site a kind of apocalypse.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church