Patriarchal Liturgy in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the breakthrough of the Thessalonica front

Church of Serbia – October 2018

On Sunday, September 30, 2018, in the church of Great Martyr Panteleimon, His Holiness Patriarch Ecumenical Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej celebrated the Patriarchate Liturgy in honor of the 100th anniversary of the breakthrough of the Thessalonica Front and the end of the First World War.

Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Irinej were concelebrated by Metropolitan Paul of Drama, who was the official representative of His Beatitude Jeronimus, Archbishop of Athens and the Holy Synod of the Greek Church, Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, Metropolitan Jeremiah of Ancyra, Metropolitan Theolyptus of Iconia, Metropolitan Varnava of Neapolis, Archimandrite Metodije of the monastery of Hilandar.

During the Holy Patriarchal Liturgy, a large number of faithful were addressed by the host hierarch, Metropolitan Varnava of Drama, followed by Serbian Patriarch Irinej, and finally by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

After the Holy Liturgy, a panichida for the fallen soldiers in the First World War was served. Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Irinej visited the largest military cemetery in the Balkans – Zejtinlik, where they laid wreaths and venerated the graves of Serbian and other allied soldiers who had been shot during the breakthrough of the Thessalonica front.

After the Holy Liturgy, the Primates of the two great and centuries-long suffering Church laid wreaths at the Zejtinlik cemetery, a place where tens of thousands of Serbian heroes from the First World War rest. Zejtinlik is a place and a monument of the Serbian Golgotha and crucifixion, but also a place of Serbian resurrection and victory. These days we remember the great events that took place exactly one hundred years ago when our great-grandfathers launched a breakthrough of the Thessalonica front, which led to the liberation of Serbia and the end of World War I.

Right here at Zejtinlik, Patriarchs Bartholomew and Irinej planted an olive tree as a symbol of peace.

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