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On 5 July 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia officiated at the Divine liturgy at the Church of the Holy Trinity, a metochion of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade and congratulated parishioners on the upcoming feast of Ss Peter and Fevronia of Murom celebrated on July 8. In Russia, the commemoration day of these saints, patrons of Christian marriage, is also known as the Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness.

Concelebrating with His Holiness were Archpriest Vitaly Tarasjev, rector of the metochion, Archpriest Miladin Bogdanović from the diocese of Šabac of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and Protodeacon Stevan Rapajić, secretary of the church court of the Archdiocese of Belgrade and Karlovci.

Attending the service were also Ms. Mileta Radojević, director of the Serbian administration for cooperation with churches and religious communities, and Prince Philip Karađorđdević with his wife.

On behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia Archpriest Tarasjev thanked His Holiness Patriarch Irinej for officiating at the Divine liturgy

and wished him peace, good health and God’s aid in his primatial ministry.

Fr Tarasjev spoke about the commemoration day of Ss Peter and Fevronia, explaining that it has been celebrated as the Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness by the Church and the state in Russia since 2008.

The Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church thanked the rector of the metochion for his words and also underscored that marriage is a sacred union through which God’s grace comes to human beings. His Holiness added that history of both Russian and Serbian people has known many sacred marriages and noted that now nowadays family is being attacked as no other human or social institution.

His Holiness Patriarch Irinej underscored the importance of keeping family as a home church and as a blessed by God union of man and wife at present when spiritual, moral and cultural values are being undermined.

The service was followed by a festive reception.