Serbian Patriarch serves at St. Sava Monastery in Illinois—home of relics of St. Mardarije

Libertyville, Illinois, February 2, 2023

Pat. Porfirije at St. Sava Monastery. Photo: Pat. Porfirije at St. Sava Monastery. Photo:     

His Holiness Porfirije, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, arrived in America for a pastoral visit on January 25.

Since then, he has visited parishes and monasteries in New York and the Midwest.

On the same day that he arrived, he visited St. Sava Cathedral in New York and was informed about the restoration of the church, which was badly damaged by fire on Pascha in 2016.

Together with His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Canada, the Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Sava on January 27 at the Serbian Club in New York, where services are being held while the cathedral is being repaired. He also served there the next day, after which he visited the St. Sava Academy, where His Holiness distributed St. Sava packages to the children.

Accompanied by Bp. Mitrophan, the Patriarch arrived in Chicago on January 29, where he was greeted at the airport by His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gračanica and the Midwest and diocesan clergy, monastics, and faithful.

That day, the three hierarchs celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the St. Sava Cathedral in Milwaukee. His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was also present. The 110th anniversary of the founding of the Church-School congregation of St. Sava was also celebrated.

The next day, the Patriarch visited New Gračanica Monastery and the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, where he spoke with professors and students about ways to improve the work of the seminary—the only Serbian theological school in America.

And yesterday, His Holiness celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville. Bishops Mitrophan, Longin, and Kirilo of Buenos Aires and South and Central America were also prayerfully present. The Liturgy was sung by the students of the theological school in Libertyville.

Pat. Porfirije venerated the relics of St. Mardarije, one of the saints of America. Photo: Pat. Porfirije venerated the relics of St. Mardarije, one of the saints of America. Photo:     

Following the Liturgy, His Holiness venerated the incorrupt relics of St. Mardarije, a 20th-century Serbian hierarch who served in America, which are treasured at the monastery.

The Serbian primate exhorted the faithful:

Brothers and sisters, may God grant that through the prayers of St. Mardarije, the Orthodox faith, as we read in this prayer, will be kindled in your hearts. Faith is what gives meaning to our life and faith is what leads us to fullness, and St. Mardarije showed with his life how and in what way we should believe in God. It doesn’t depend on the time in which we live, nor on the space in which we live. All people of all times are called to one thing, and that is to be holy. May the Lord grant that through the prayers of St. Mardarije and all the saints from our family and all the saints of the Orthodox Church, we too might go the way of the Gospel, which means the way of holiness, the way of love. Everything’s contained in that word. Where there is love, there is the Lord! Where the Lord is, there is also love among you and community among us!

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