Kosovo, March 18, 2021
His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia spent the first three days of the Great Fast at the ancient Patriarchate of Peć in Kosovo and Metohija. After serving the first Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts yesterday, the Serbian primate then served a memorial for all his predecessors on the Serbian primatial throne, as well as for the victims of the violent rioting by ethnic Albanians that took place throughout Kosovo on March 17 and 18, 2004.
And responding to the recent rash of attacks on Orthodox churches in Kosovo, the Patriarch also expressed his intention to rebuild and revive the spiritual life in the holy churches, reports the press service of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Serbian archbishops and patriarchs who are buried at the Patriarchate of Peć are “not only witnesses to the existence of, but were also patrons and creators of the highest European culture through which we ennobled the land of Kosovo and Metohija,” the Patriarch said.
In the place of their rest, prayers were offered for the victims of the 2004 events, as well as those who suffered 40 years ago when the sleeping quarters of the monastery at the Patriarchate burned down, His Holiness noted.
And responding to the desecration of churches, the Patriarch emphasized the need to pray and rebuild what has been lost:
What can be our only answer? We will reconsecrate with prayer what has been desecrated, we will rebuild what has been burned and destroyed. And we will pray to God to give strength to those who remained in Kosovo and Metohija to persevere and build their lives in peace. We will also pray for the destroyers to stop destroying, the arsonists to stop burning, the robbers to stop robbing, because in those very churches we are praying for them, their neighbors and their children. Therefore, let us pray today for peace among all people who live in Kosovo and Metohija, regardless of their religion and nation.
As OrthoChristian reported yesterday, five churches have been attacked and robbed in Kosovo in 10 days.