Patriarch sends message ahead of Orthodox Easter

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Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej and bishops wished all believers a happy upcoming Orthodox Easter holiday.

Serbia’s majority Orthodox Christians will celebrate the holiday on Sunday, May 1.

In his message, the patriarch said that “during the sacred holiday, we should feel compassion for all displaced Serbs, especially for those from Kosovo and Metohija, and that despite all their suffering, our people always revived and rose again, continuing to walk the path of Christ.”

“Therefore, one who falters should be given a hand, instead of being pushed deeper in decay. The sick should be visited and nurtured, and a stray soul instructed to walk the right path,” said the patriarch, adding that “with his resurrection, Christ unites heaven and earth and accepts the penitent thief in heaven before anyone else, giving us all hope that our living in repentance is not in vain.”

“We may now live in difficult times, full of uncertainty and tragedy, but we must not, just as the ancient Christians didn’t, stop rejoicing and loving by the love of Christ, not only our brother but our enemy as well, so nothing should distract us from the path of life He gave us,” Patriarch Irinej said in his Easter message, delivered to the media.

“We feel particular compassion for our brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija. By living and celebrating God on the primeval Serbian land, they continue to witness the mystery of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. The Holy Lazaric Kosovo has always been in the mark of the Cross and Resurrection,” said the patriarch.

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) also noted in his Easter message the Serbian people many times suffered, “but always, by the force of God, stood up and revived, continuing to walk the path of Christ, and should hold alive the memory of our holy saints and martyrs and learn from our Kosovo and Metohija shrines as they hold the holy relics of many of them, said the Patriarch, calling on the faithful to greet each other on Easter Day with the words: ‘Christ is risen’.”

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