Ostrog, Montenegro, May 12, 2022
The feast of the most revered Orthodox saint in the Balkans, St. Basil of Ostrog, is annually celebrated by faithful from Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other countries on May 12.
Thousands make the pilgrimage every year, climbing a high mountain to the 17th-century Ostrog Monastery and waiting in a long line to venerate St. Basil’s relics after traveling already for several days. This year marks the 350th anniversary of his repose.
The feast was presided over by the primate of the Serbian Church, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije. He was joined by the local Serbian hierarchs in Montenegro and a number of other hierarchs of the Serbian Church, as well as a special guest from the Greek Church—His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Corfu, reports the Metropolis of Montenegro.
On Tuesday, Met. Nektarios led a procession with relics of the Martyrs of Prevella in Tivat.
Yesterday, he served in the Vigil for St. Basil with Pat. Porfirije and the other Serbian hierarchs and clergy:
The Serbian Patriarch offered a reflection on St. Basil, including the need for repentance and prayer:
In times filled with unrest, conflicts, hatred, fratricide, those of us gathered here can influence peace, philanthropy, and mercy in the whole world, more by praying to St. Basil of Ostrog than by any other activities. We need prayer and repentance and to kneel before the relics of St. Basil of Ostrog, to sincerely look at our souls and forgive everyone.
In turn, His Eminence Metropolitan Joanikije of Montenegro said:
In these 350 years, he has performed countless miracles and that is why his people come to him with so much love from all over the world. St. Basil also helps and arrives to comfort and heal and to guide and enlighten all those who address him with faith, not only in the Ostrog Monastery but on all five continents.
The prayers continued later that night with an akathist read at the saint’s relics.
This morning, the hierarchs gathered to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the beloved St. Basil: