Podgorica, Montenegro, March 2, 2020
For the second time during his short, 3-day visit to Montenegro, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine led a massive procession of the faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the capital city of Podgorica on Saturday, February 29.
The first procession, on Thursday, February 27, was one of the regular processions against the Montenegrin government’s ambitions of seizing Serbian Church property, while the second was in honor of St. Symeon the Myrrh-Gusher, one of the most revered saints in the Serbian Church.
More than 100,000 faithful from all over Montenegro came to Podgorica to celebrate the great saint with their beloved brother in Christ, Met. Onuphry, the head of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and their own hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro, reports IN4S.
Many believers even covered 100s of kilometers on foot to participate in the festivities.
The celebrations began with the festive Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Resurrection, which was also headed by Met. Onuphry, together with a number of other visiting Ukrainian and Serbian hierarchs, and Abbot Methodius of the Athonite Hilandar Monastery.
Before the procession, Met. Onuphry addressed the enormous crowd, lauding the many centuries of Orthodox Tradition in Montenegro. And speaking of St. Symeon, he stated:
It is safe to say that the saint, as the spiritual unifier of the historical lands of your heroic people, stood at the origins of the greatness and glory of the entire Serbian Orthodox Church. And now, as during his lifetime, he continues to offer his fervent prayers for the Holy Serbian Church and his Fatherland, and all who flock with faith and love to the relics of the monk receive healing and comfort.
His Beatitude also stressed that the love of God for the human race is immeasurable and nothing can separate fraternal peoples from the love of God.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists provides several videos of the Liturgy before the procession:
The day before, Friday, February 28, the beloved Ukrainian primate also visited the famous Cetinje and Ostrog Monasteries to venerate the relics of St. Peter of Cetinje and St. Basil of Ostrog.
Watch the greeting of Met. Onuphry at Cetinje Monastery, the administrative center of the Church in Montenegro:
During his visit to Cetinje, Met. Amfilohije of Montenegro bestowed the Order of St. Peter II upon Met. Onuphry for his work for the protection of the Orthodox faith. He also gave an episcopal Panagia to each of the other visiting Ukrainian hierarchs.
Watch Met. Onuphry’s reception at Ostrog Monastery: