Church of Serbia – 23/8/2020
On 20th August 2020, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and the President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Aleksandar Vucic, visited the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava in order to get informed of the progress of works on Cathedral interior.
The works on the interior of the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava should be completed in October, when the Cathedral is planned to be opened as a part of a great jubilee – 800 years of autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church. President Vucic pointed out that he was proud of the fact that the Serbian government had undertaken the greatest burden of the completion of construction of the St. Sava’s Cathedral, adding that the investments into the Cathedral works in the last three years exceeded the total sum invested during the previous 60 years.
“All of our great accomplishments are left to the next generations. This period will be remembered not only for the great investment in roads, railways and other infrastructure facilities, but also for the completion of the most important religious and cultural facility. This will be the new Hagia Sophia. We do not have the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia anymore, but we do have the Cathedral of St. Sava,” President Vucic pointed out and added that the church had the largest mosaic in the whole world, made of broken glass, on which the greatest Serbian and Russian artistic masters had been working.
“The Cathedral of Saint Sava is one of the three largest in the Orthodox world. We have been struggling to build our Orthodox cathedral for more than 100 years. It is an extremely important goal for all the people who respect themselves and their history, but also their future. In just two months, the works will be finished and we will be able to see the Cathedral in its wonderful beauty. It will be one of the largest and most important worship places not only for our people, but also for everyone who comes to Serbia to see something magnificent. People who have big dreams have a chance of achieving them” said President Vucic and thanked the Russian artists who had been working on decorating the dome, Russian academician Nikolai Mukhin who is the lead author and creator of the mosaic, but also the President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin, and Gazprom Company for donating EUR 10.5 million.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej emphasized that the Cathedral of Saint Sava would be a magnificent shrine to the pride of the Serbian people, and of the whole Christian world. He expressed gratitude to all of those who had donated funds for the Cathedral, but also to the Serbian State, which had understood the importance and significance of Saint Sava for our history and the importance of building the Cathedral at the exact place where St. Sava’s relics had been burnt. “As much as Stefan Nemanja contributed to the creation of the State, Saint Sava did nothing less. While Nemanja was expanding the State’s borders, St. Sava was instilling the spirit and life into our Church. Such a feeling has imbued our entire history, and is still felt today”, said the Serbian Patriarch Irinej.