July 14, 2003
ERP KIM Newsletter 14-07-03b
BISHOP ARTEMIJE SERVES HOLY ARCHIERCHAL LITURGY ON THE RUINS OF ZOCISTE MONASTERY NEAR ORAHOVAC
ERP KIM Info
Bishop Artemije and the clergy and monks of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren today served Holy Archierchal Liturgy on the ruins of the Monastery of Sts. Cosmos and Damian in Zociste near Orahovac. The monastery dedicated to the Unmercenary Physicians has lain in ruins for the past four years since being looted and burned down by Albanian extremists in the summer of 1999.
Priests and believers began to arrive in escorted KFOR vehicles in the early morning hours. About 100 people from the Orahovac area and northern Kosovo joined the clergy and monks in the courtyard.
Addressing the congregation Bishop Artemije thanked God that Serbs continued to gather at the ruins of their destroyed holy shrine, expressing the firm hope that conditions would soon be created for the restoration of the monastery and the life of the monastery brotherhood.
After the liturgy a requiem mass was served at the graves of Abbot Damian and Fr. Mojsije, followed by the blessing and cutting of the slava bread.
This year's celebration of feast day of the Unmercenary Physicians in Zociste passed without incident thanks to strong KFOR forces. After the service in the monastery, Bishop Artemije and the congregation visited the town of Velika Hoca nearby, where the slava lunch was served.
On the same morning in the village of Novake, some 20 kilometers east of Prizren, where the first Serb returnees came back in February, the slava of Sts. Cosmos and Damian was celebrated in the restored village church. Fr. Aleksandar Nespalic served Holy Liturgy for local residents who were joined by five buses of Serbs expelled from the region who wanted to celebrate the feast day together with residents. In the village 61 houses have been almost completed even though much work remains both in this village and other Serb villages nearby, all of which were systematically destroyed in summer of 1999 after the arrival of KFOR forces.
After the slava lunch in Velika Hoca Bishop Artemije visited the returnees in the village of Novake and wished them a happy slava. In his address to the people Bishop Artemije encouraged them to remain resolute in their efforts to restore life on their devastated ancestral homes.
More about Zociste Monastery - /esvraci.html
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