Serbian Church canonizes three martyrs

Belgrade, May 11, 2018

Sts. Vasilije and Gregory of Peć. Photo: svetigora.com Sts. Vasilije and Gregory of Peć. Photo: svetigora.com
    

At its latest session, from April 28 to May 10, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church resolved to canonize three holy martyrs among the saints, reports The Union of Orthodox Journalists.

The official canonization of Sts. Gregory of Peć, Vasilije of Peć, and Bosiljka Rajičić and those who suffered with them will soon be held.

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St. Gregory of Peć (17th-18th C.) was a young monk of the monastery of the Patriarchate of Peć. He was martyred after refusing to convert to Islam. Miracles began to take place at the place where he was secretly buried by faithful Christians and a small church was later built on the site. Atheist authorities demolished the church and built an institute in the mid-20th century, although the martyr’s incorrupt relics were discovered during the demolishing of the church. His memory will be celebrated on January 22/February 7.

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St. Vasilije of Peć (17th C.) worked as a baker in the city of Peć. When Albanians kidnapped his daughter, he resolved to intercede for her honor and besought them not to convert her to Islam. The Albanians thus severely beat him with a scimitar and left him to die. His place of burial was venerated by the Orthodox, who later built a church on the spot, although the Turks soon demolished it. His burial place was finally destroyed during the hostilities in Kosovo and Metohija in 1999. His memory will be celebrated on April 29/May 12.

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St. Bosiljka Rajičić. Photo: svetigora.com St. Bosiljka Rajičić. Photo: svetigora.com
    

Bosiljka Rajičić (18th C.) was 17 when Albanians kidnapped her. She flatly refused to marry an Albanian and to convert to Islam, and endured all manners of torments. Then she was taken out of the village and torn to pieces, and her relatives were forbidden to bury her remains. Amongst the people, the place of her death became known as “The Girl’s Grave,” and a fresco of her soon appeared in Peć Monastery. Her memory will be celebrated on October 13/26.

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5/12/2018

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