Drinjača, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 3, 2022
Slobodan Stojanović was 11 years old when he was brutally murdered by an Albanian woman 30 years ago. His death has become a symbol of the suffering children of the war in Bosnia.
At its May session, the Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church resolved to canonize the New Martyr Slobodan, and on July 27, his glorification was celebrated for the first time in the Bosnian village of Drinjača, near where the boy’s family lived in Kamenica, reports rtrs.tv.
Two other New Martyrs from the area, Archpriests Milan Petković and Timotej Popović, are commemorated the same day. The icons of all the New Martyrs of Kamenica were placed in the Church of the Holy Deacon Habakkuk, where the celebration was held.
The sufferings of little Slobodan are a prism through which to contemplate the sufferings of every child in the war, said parish priest Fr. Marko Danojlović during his sermon after the Liturgy.
The child Slobodan approached life with open arms, just as he approached the enemy who eventually killed him, Fr. Marko emphasized.
“The greatest tragedy is that the world’s scales don’t measure victims the same, even if they’re children,” the priest said.
Slobodan was killed by the Albanian Alfeta Veseli, who fought for Bosnian Islamists. His body was found in June 1993 in a mass grave near Jošanica with numerous fatal head and body injuries inflicted both pre- and post-mortem. His ear was cut off, incisions were made on his stomach with a sharp object, and a bullet hit him in the temple at close range.
Veseli was found in Switzerland and given only a minimum sentence in 2019.
It is planned to erect a monument to St. Slobodan in Kamenica.