Church of Serbia – 26/4/21
His Holiness Porfirije, Serbian Patriarch opened an exhibition of works by the nun Marija (Antic) from the monastery of St. John the Baptist in Jasenovac at the History Museum of Serbia, which was organized to mark the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust, genocide and other victims of fascism in World War II, on 22 April 2021.
His Holiness Porfirije, Serbian Patriarch stated yesterday, at the opening of the exhibition Holy New Martyrs of Jasenovac in the light of the Resurrection, that the most monstrous crimes were committed in Jasenovac, which even animals would be ashamed of. “Jasenovac is widely known not only in Serbia but in the whole world, unfortunately, on the one hand, not only for evil but for the most extreme possible evil that the human mind can imagine,” said the Patriarch at the History Museum of Serbia, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Serbia. Aleksandar Vucic, His Grace Bishop Jovan of Slavonia, and the highest representatives of the Serbian people from Republika Srpska and Croatia.
“Innocent people died in Jasenovac in the most monstrous ways possible. “Everyone personally, regardless of the circumstances, decides how they will behave and live, as well as how they will position themselves in relation to favourable and unfavourable circumstances,” the Patriarch said, emphasizing that some people there, according to atrocities and what they did, remove themselves from the human race and every nation.
The Patriarch said that the first temples and prayers of Christians were created in places where martyrs for Christ suffered and that God wanted a shrine or monastery to appear in those places where innocent people suffered and where the worst crimes were committed. “The place of suffering has become a gathering place for monks and nuns. Today, Jasenovac is known for the most horrible evil, but it is also becoming more and more famous for the monastery that rises and gives spiritual fruits, ” the Serbian Patriarch added.
“The role of art is not only to photograph reality, but art detects what is an essential and existential problem of man in time. Art is called to give both perspective and future. We have real art in the place of the greatest evil. This beauty, true and authentic art, has emerged at the place where demons laugh,” the Patriarch pointed out.
His Holiness said that everyone who remembers Jasenovac should do the least to try to stay human, but also to do everything not to repeat what happened in Jasenovac. “That is why Jasenovac must not be forgotten because we need it to inspire us to be as many people as possible who are similar to the image of man imagined by Christ,” the Patriarch emphasized.
The Patriarch reminded that not only Serbs but also Jews and Roma died in Jasenovac. “Many people who were slightly different from those who wanted everything to be in only two colors suffered,” the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije reminded, who thanked Bishop Jovan of Slavonia and Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral of the blessed repose who contributed to the monastic seed being sown in Jasenovac, as well as Milorad Pupovac and other Serbs who seem to make Jasenovac not forgotten.
Tanjug, RTS, photo: deacon Dragan Tanasijevic