Belgrade, January 5, 2023
The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church personally distributed Christmas gifts to children from large families and orphans at a special ceremony at St. Sava’s Cathedral in Belgrade yesterday.
The distribution of holiday gifts was organized by the charity department of the Archdiocese of Belgrade and Karlovci, the administration of St. Sava’s, and the humanitarian organization Naši Srbi (Our Serbs) from Chicago, headed by Mrs. Kathy Fenslow, reports the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The event was also marked by the performance of a children’s choir. It was attended by His Grace Bishop Stefan of Remesijana, the clergy of St. Sava’s, benefactors, volunteers, guests, and numerous children.
His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije offered the children an encouraging word on faith in God:
I’m happiest when we gather, especially when we gather in the Church of St. Sava. I’m happiest when I’m with you, because from you I, and all adults, can and should learn what it means to love God and everyone around us, first of all our parents, our brothers, sisters and our friends. We learn love from you, and together with you we all know that God loves us all, and especially you, children. And whenever you’re sad and in a bad mood in any way, when you have the impression that those around you don’t understand you, you know very well that God not only understands you but also truly loves you; and not just any God, but the God Who became a child, Who was born in a cave to assure you that troubles, difficulties, anger, and dissatisfaction are only moments in which we have the opportunity to feel that we are never alone and that God is always with us. God is especially with you and that is why our joy is great, because when we’re with you, we know that through you God is with us adults as well. I wish you all a Merry Christmas. May the Lord bless you all to hear His word and to overcome every trouble with prayer, faith in God, and love. Cheers! May the Lord bless you all! The peace of God—Christ is born!
Pat. Porfirije and the Serbian Church have also given out scholarships to students of all levels. Last month, OrthoChristian reported on scholarships given to children from large families, with four or more siblings.
Last week, OrthoChristian reported on similar acts of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Russia.