Serbian Armed Forces bid a final farewell to Patriarch Irinej

Saturday, 21.11.2020 | News
Serbian Armed Forces personnel, together with their people, are bidding a final farewell to His Holiness, Serbian Patriarch Irinej, who passed away yesterday at 7:07 a.m. in the Covid military hospital "Karaburma" from the consequences of the Covid-19 virus.

Serbian Armed Forces Guard personnel carried a coffin with the earthly remains of Patriarch Irinej and formed escorts of honor in front of the Cathedral Church where the Holy Liturgy was held and the Temple of Saint Sava where Patriarch Irinej will be buried. In this way, the traditional unity of the military and the Serbian Orthodox Church as centuries-old and permanent pillars of the state of Serbia is symbolically confirmed.

President of the Republic and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić, sent a letter of condolences to the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the death of His Holiness, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, in which he emphasized:

„Our Serbian people had great patriarchs and people, and Patriarch Irinej was one of them. He was a person that this time demanded and that our people wanted. That is why, carried by the respect of his people, every day he became bigger, closer and dearer to each and every of our people, every Serb, wherever they lived. Patriarch Irinej was a great man of the Serbian Church, Orthodox religion and our Serbian people", it is stated in the letter of condolences of President Vučić.

Expressing condolences on the death of Patriarch Irinej, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Nebojsa Stefanović, PhD, emphasized that "the sad news of the death of the Serbian Patriarch shook every person in our country" and that "his life and fight for good were inspiration for all of us and encouragement to do more selfless things and to remember the words he sent us, especially when there was no other consolation“.

In addition to numerous merits for the state of Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej supported and was a great advocate of the initiative for the introduction of chaplaincy service in the Serbian Armed Forces in 2011. At the signing ceremony of the Agreement on the Introduction of Chaplaincy Service in the Serbian Armed Forces, Patriarch Irinej assessed this act as historically significant for both the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Armed Forces. Introduction of military priests enabled an even greater presence of traditional culture and spirituality in our military, since military priests brought greater quality to life and military service, as well as the spirit of patriotism and spirituality, said Patriarch Irinej, emphasizing the symbolism of the Agreement being signed on Vidovdan – a national holiday of the Serbian people and Church.

On numerous occasions, Patriarch Irinej was happy to be with the Serbian Armed Forces personnel, especially on the occasion of important holidays and the consecration of places of worship in the commands, units and institutions of the Serbian Armed Forces.

The funeral of the 45th Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, will be on Sunday, November 22, in the crypt of the Temple of Saint Sava. He will also be remembered for being the patriarch at whose time most was invested in the completion of the Temple in Vračar, where he will be the first patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church to be buried.

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