Serbian Patriarch Porfirije visited Jasenovac Monastery

Church of Serbia – 3/3/21

His Holiness Porfirije, the Serbian Patriarch, visited the Jasenovac Monastery on 28 February 2021.

With the faithful people, clergy and monks, His Holiness Porfirije, Serbian Patriarch in the sacred family of the Jasenovac monastery was welcomed by His Grace Bishop Jovan of Slavonia. After the doxology in the church of the Holy New Martyrs of Jasenovac, in prayerful remembrance on the occasion of the visit, Bishop Jovan presented His Holiness the Patriarch with a particle of the relics of the Holy New Martyrs of Jasenovac.

RTS: Patriarch Porfirije in Jasenovac Monastery: There is no greater justice than the existence of a shrine in this place

His Holiness Porfirije, Serbian Patriarch visited the Jasenovac Monastery and told those present that there is no greater justice than having a shrine at that place. He pointed out that he felt a call to repentance whenever he came to the place where human evil showed its ugliest side.

During the doxology held on the occasion of his visit to the Jasenovac Monastery, Patriarch of Porfirije said that whenever he came there, he constantly wondered if it was possible for human evil to be so great because it has shown its ugliest side as it is in Jasenovac.

– We are all brothers and we are all called to be brothers, and it is superfluous to say how absurd it is in this place where people have shown how much they can become alienated from what God has woven and laid in them, the Patriarch said.

Quoting the Apostle Paul that God created all nations from one blood, Patriarch Porfirije said that those people who committed the most monstrous evils against the innocent here were written off from every nation. – They are inscribed in non-humans, they do not belong to the words of the Apostle Paul that every nation has a certain place and time to stay in order to find God, the Patriarch stated and pointed out that whenever he came to this place, he would feel the voice of a martyr calling him to repentance as described in the New Testament, that is, a repentance which means giving places, space, others to be next to you, in another to find the meaning of your existence.

-But we do not fully know the providence of God, because here on the bank of the river Sava, which connects different parts, now also different countries and people, he wanted this place to become truly one of the greatest sanctuaries in the paradox of Christ. There is no greater justice than to have a shrine, a monastery in this place, to gather primarily monks and nuns, those who are called by God to offer him a prayer for the peace of the world, among all people, the patriarch stated.

He also emphasized that whenever he visited Jasenovac, he felt that the place of horror seen with the naked eye would be a kind of foundation from which the fire of peace arises: -This place of horror is the foundation, the foot from which the pillar and the fire of peace ascend to heaven is expanding in concentric circles.

-Whenever he came here, he came with the desire to strengthen himself,” Patriarch Porfirije said, adding that he also came to be spiritually empowered, to examine before God and countless martyrs whether he had done anything without sinning against anyone.  – At the same time, I asked the martyrs and myself if there was anything I could do, whenever I received an answer, I tried to follow the path of the answer, as what I recognized as the will and desire of God, Patriarch said.

The first hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church asked the sisters and brothers in the Jasenovac monastery to constantly pray for him, “weak and weak” because he is sure that only with their prayers, as he says, he can take a step forward.

Recalling that he had visited Banija the day before, the Patriarch said that he needed to tell them that the Church was with them after the suffering due to the earthquake, but also the global suffering due to the coronary virus pandemic.

In the monastery of Jasenovac, which is located in the municipality of the same name, where about thirty Serbs live today, the clergy led by Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia were waiting for the Patriarch at the monastery gate. The newly enthroned Patriarch was also welcomed by a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Milorad Dodik, who previously announced that Republika Srpska would allocate 50,000 EUR, or 100,000 BAM, for the reconstruction of the monastery, which was damaged during the earthquake that hit Croatia late last year, as well as SDSS and Serbian National Council President Milorad Pupovac.

Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia told RTS that the visit of Patriarch Porfirije to the Jasenovac monastery is an expression of the importance he gives to this place of worship. The Jasenovac Monastery with the church dedicated to the Nativity of St. John the Baptist belongs to the Diocese of Pakrac and Slavonia, and during the time of Bishop Sava of Slavonia, it was also the seat of the diocese. The monastery church was built in 1775 but was destroyed at the beginning of the Second World War in 1941 by the first Jasenovac camp inmates. The temple was renovated and consecrated on September 2, 1984, and during the war conflicts during the disintegration of SFR Yugoslavia, in 1991, the church was damaged again. In May 1995, in Operation Flash, the monastery church was desecrated and devastated, and in 2000, it was rebuilt again when Bishop Sava declared the Jasenovac Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist monastery.