ERP KIM Newsletter
614th ANNIVERSARY OF
THE KOSOVO BATTLE
Painting by Petar Radicevic 1987
Kosovo battle 1389
(link at kosovo.net)
Who was St.
Prince Lazar and what is the meaning of the Kosovo battle in the Serbian
history of Kosovo and Metohija? Serbian Medieval Epic Poetry in English
The Kosovo Battle was a turning point in the medieval history of Europe.
It was not only a battle fought between a Christian alliance led by the
Serbian Prince and the army of Sultan Murad but also an event which has
marked the centuries of subsequent history of this part of the Balkans.
Kosovo has remained an area of conflict between two civilizations, two
religions and mentalities.
The Kosovo Field, June
15/28, 1389 by Prof. Sima Cirkovic - A historic
essay covering the events before, during and after the Kosovo battle in
(ST. VITUS DAY) FESTIVITIES IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
One of the most important
Serbian religious and national festivals celebrated in Kosovo and Metohija
in the presence of the Patriarch, Royal Couple and the representatives of
the Serbian Government and local officials.
June 28, 2003
ST. VITUS DAY LITURGY
SERVED IN GRACANICA MONASTERY
Holy Liturgy in
front of the church
Bishops Artemije and Atanasije
Orthodox Church and its faithful today commemorate St. Vitus Day
(Vidovdan) and hold memorial services for Holy Prince Lazar and Serb
knights who perished in the battle against the Turks in Kosovo Polje in
1389. Vidovdan is also the day of memory of all new-martyrs who suffered
for Christ and Orthodox faith since the Second World War.
Holy Liturgy was served by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle with
concelebration of Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren (Kosovo and Metohija),
Bishop Atanasije, retired Bishop of Hercegovina and several presbyters.
The liturgy was attended by approximately 1,000 people from central Kosovo
and other parts of Kosovo and Metohija who gathered in front of Gracanica
church early in the morning. KFOR and UNMIK forces provided reinforced
Vigil service on Wednesday evening
was attended by Crown Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic and his wife
Princess Katherine. At the service were also present the Serbian deputy
premier Nebojsa Covic, the vice chair of the Serbian Parliament Committee
for Kosovo and Metohija Momcilo Trajkovic, Return Coalition (Povratak) MPs
in the Kosovo parliament and local Serb officials.
blessing of his Holiness Patriarch Pavle Bishop Atanasije addressed the
congregation in his Vidovdan homily.
and fourteen years have passed since the Serb defeat in Kosovo and the
great victory of the Cross and the Resurrection. The holy martyr Vitus for
whom this day is named gave his life but the Serbs came to life - on the
path to the Kingdoms of Earth and Heaven," said Bishop Atanasije.
In his homily Bishop Atanasije severly criticized the UN Mission saying
that "during the last four years Kosovo is ruled by slavery, occupation
"They are teaching the Albanians to rule in a slave society. Freedom
cannot be built on injustice, evil and the subjugation of others. The
aggressors have set out to destroy all traces of us and that is why they
are destroying our shrines. They bear witness to who we are, where we are
from and how long we have been in Kosovo," said Bishop Atanasije.
He also noted that 120 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been
destroyed in Kosovo since the arrival of UNMIK and KFOR while, on the
other hand, "the occupiers are building palaces and cities."
After the Holy
Liturgy Patriarch Pavle cut the feastal cake (Slavski kolac) in front of
the Gracanica church and called the people to remain faithful to Christ
and His holy commandments.
H.R.H. PRINCESS KATHERINE DELIVERS DONATION IN FOOD AND MEDICINE TO BISHOP
continuation of the celebration Princess Katherine delivered a donation in
food and medicine to Bishop Artemije, which will be distributed to the
parishioners of this diocese. On that occasion, Princess Katharine
addressed the gathering:
"My husband and I know this is a great day in our history and we belong
here with you today. We bring you food and medicine as humanitarian aid,
donated by our friends from Greece. I hope it will make your lives here at
least a little easier. I assure you my husband, Crown Prince Alexander and
I, will continue our work and will always be with you to help you."
Bishop Artemije warmly thanked the Princess for her love and efforts in
Royal Couple with
His Grace Bishop Artemije at the luncheon at Gracanica Monastery
PATRIARCH PAVLE SERVES
MEMORIAL SERVICE (PANYCHIDA) AT GAZIMESTAN
the luncheon Serbian Patriarch Pavle, the bishops and the clergy served
the memorial service (panychida) at the Kosovo battle site (Gazimestan) to
the Serb heroes who fell in the battle against the Turks on this day in
1389. Gazimestan is situated 5 kilometers north from Pristina, on a
hillside where a memorial tower was built after the First World War. On
this site Holy Prince Lazar and his most faithfull knights were slain by
Sultan Murad and his army after a heavy day-long battle.
"The Serb people live in Kosovo, not to take from others what is theirs,
not to trample the freedom of others and impose their faith upon them but
in order to defend what is theirs. That is why our ancestors waged battle
in Kosovo 614 and laid down their lives. Our Lord, help us in Kosovo to
always remember your words: he who endures to the end will be saved," said
conclusion of his homily the Patriarch sent an appeal to everybody to
unite and continue to live together in harmony, love and peace in Kosovo
Approximately 1,000 Serb faithful gathered in Gazimestan. KFOR provided
additional security along the road betwen Gracanica and the Kosovo battle
site so that the participants in this ceremony could drive freely in their
With holy ones
rest, oh Lord, the souls....
PRINCE ALEXANDER II APPEALS FOR PEACE AND TOLERANCE AT GAZIMESTAN
laying of the wreath on the monument to the Kosovo battle heroes in
Gazimestan, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II addressed the present and
emphasized that today’s gathering on Vidovdan pays respect to all
generations of Serbian soldiers who gave their lives for freedom, as well
as to the people of Kosovo and Metohija who lost their lives just because
they were Serbs and Orthodox.
The Crown Prince condemned all acts of terrorism, murders, and the recent
cold blooded killing of a Serbian family at Obilic as well as any criminal
act perpetrated on any Kosovo inhabitant regardless of his or her
nationality, ethnic origin or religion. He reminded that the problem of
Kosovo can never be solved through violence.
said that Serbs in the Province live in ghettoes, that there are no
refugee returns and that many shrines have been destroyed. He called on
the international community to double its efforts and do far more to
ensure security and the rule of human rights in Kosovo.
He also called on Serbs in Kosovo and the government in Belgrade not to
give up but to continue to work toward a better future in the Province. He
appealed to Serbs not to abandon Kosovo "because without them the Serbian
churches and monasteries will become museums."
H.R.H. CP Alexander delivers
his speech at Gazimestan
"We should not
be discouraged, but rather united and put aside differences, and work
wisely for a better future. The Serbs and the Albanians can and must live
in Kosovo together in total peace and mutual respect under democratic
conditions and the rule of law and that everyone’s human rights are
totally respected. As Bishop Artemije always said there is enough land in
Kosovo for both the Serbs and the Albanians. To live in peace there must
be jobs, investments and
for everyone in Kosovo. I repeat again what I have always said to everyone
present that there is absolutely no room for extremists from anywhere,
terrorism and acts of violence. It is most important that the Serbs remain
and live securely in Kosovo and that the exiles return to their homes once
conditions are right. Without people, the Serbian monasteries and churches
would become museums, and that must never happen. I call on the Serbs not
to be strong and not abandon their ancestral homes in Kosovo. I call on
the international community to double its efforts and to work much more
for security, human rights, the rule of law and democratic institutions,"
added the Crown Prince.
This was the second visit of Their Royal Highnesses to Kosovo since their
return to the homeland.
St. Vitus Day ceremonies commemorating the 614th anniversary of the Battle
of Kosovo continued in Gracanica in the afternoon.
Jelena and Ivana
actresses from Belgrade
traditional folk-dance - "kolo"
MEDALS FOR MOTHERS OF FIVE
On return from Gazimestan Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren awarded 35
"Mother of the Jugoviches" [*] gold medals to Serb women in Kosovo and
Metohija with five or more children.
The Diocese also gave special recognition to Belgrade actresses Jelena and
After the cultural and artistic program, Bishop Artemije made the closing
remarks for this year's Vidovdan festivities.
[*] According to Serbian tradition, the nine
Jugovich brothers and their elderly father perished in the Battle of
at Gracanica Monastery
at Gracanica Monastery
SERBIAN MEDIEVAL EPIC POETRY (translated into English by Helen Rootham)
Mirror of Mark D. Lew's
Serbian Epic Poetry Page
Kosovo and Vidovdan after
600 years, by Fr. Mateja Matejic
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