ΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΠΡΙΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ, ΔΕ ΘΑ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΟΤΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ

(ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ ΜΟΝΑΧΩΝ)

Κυριακή, 14 Αυγούστου 2011

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia: "a saint who walks"


ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΙΔΙΟ, ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ



 
Early life

Pavle was born Gojko Stojčević (Гојко Стојчевић) in the village of Kućanci, near Donji Miholjac in what is today Croatia. He lost both his parents in childhood, and was raised by an aunt. After finishing elementary school, Pavle graduated from a gymnasium in Belgrade, then studied at the seminary in Sarajevo. During World War II he took refuge in the Holy Trinity monastery in Ovčar, and later moved to Belgrade. After the war, he worked in Belgrade as a construction worker, but because of his poor health he took monastic vows in Blagoveštenje monastery in Ovčar in 1946. His monastic name became Pavle (Paul). He served as a hierodeacon in Blagoveštenje, and later in Rača monastery between 1949 and 1955. In 1954, Pavle was ordained to the rank of hieromonk. The same year he was ordained as protosyncellus, and in 1957 as archimandrite.

Between 1955 and 1957 Pavle took post-graduate studies in the Theological School of the University of Athens, Greece. After returning from Greece, he was elected the Bishop of Ras and Prizren (the eparchy which includes all of Kosovo) in 1957. He held that position for 33 years before he was elected Patriarch (*)

(*) From that day to the present, he has faithfully shared in the plight of his suffering people. Bishop Pavel wrote and warned of the present exodus of Serbs from Kosovo, the attacks of the Albanians on Serbian monasteries, the rape of nuns, and terrorizing of pedestrians, the desecration of Serbian cemeteries and overall suffering of the Orthodox in Kosovo and in Metohija. In 1989, the then Bishop Pavel was personally beaten by several Albanian youths in Kosovo. The extent of his injuries required nearly three months of hospitalization. However, in the spirit of Christian forgiveness, he refused to press charges. [From here. Click here: New Martyrs in Kosovo].

As a religious leader

As a bishop of Ras and Prizren Pavle built numerous new churches and helped the reconstruction of old ones. He spent a lot of time in traveling and meeting with people of his eparchy. He also wrote books and gave lectures in Church music and Church Slavonic language.[2]


After 33 years spent in Kosovo Pavle was elected the Patriarch of Serbia in 1990, instead of ill Patriarch German, and moved to Belgrade. He was ordained for the Patriarch in the St. Michael's Cathedral in Belgrade on 2 December 1990, and in Patriarchate of Peć monastery, the ancient seat of the Serbian Church, on 22 May 1994. Just six days after his election, the parliamentary election was held in Serbia, in which Slobodan Milošević's SPS came to power. At first, relations between the government and the church were good, but gradually eroded because of the Yugoslav Wars and ongoing crisis in Serbia.[3] 
During the war, the patriarch and the church gave support to the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs and Srpska Krajina. A famous photograph from this time shows Radovan Karadžić kissing Pavle's hand.[3] Paramilitary leader Željko Ražnatović Arkan called the patriarch in one speech his supreme commander, which Pavle welcomed.[3] Pavle also had connections to the Karić family and had numerous meetings with Milošević and Mira Marković, but also with the leaders of the opposition. In 1993 Pavle wrote a letter to Milošević urging him to release Vuk Drašković from prison[3].

In 1997 Pavle took part in the massive anti-government protests in Belgrade. On 27 January (St Sava Day) he led the protesters to break the police cordon in Kolarčeva street. This was the first time that Pavle openly confronted Milošević's government. Although in following years he became close to the opposition leaders and confronted Milošević, Pavle took part in the 1999 Republic Day celebration where he congratulated Milošević. Pavle later apologized and said that it was misinterpreted. After this, the relations between Pavle and Milošević hit new lows. In 2000, Milošević didn't send Pavle Christmas congratulations for the first time. Pavle later called Milošević and his government responsible for the Yugoslav catastrophe and asked him to resign.[3] After the change of power in Serbia, Pavle continued to cooperate with the government, and was a frequent guest at various political ceremonies.


Patriarch Pavle walking the streets of Belgrade unaccompanied, when taxi drivers offered him a lift, he refused (from here).

Pavle has been referred to by some as the "walking saint" based on his simple lifestyle and personal humility.[4] All of the bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church have cars, which they use to travel through their dioceses, except Pavle. When asked why he'd never owned a car, he replied: "I will not purchase one until every Albanian and Serbian household in Kosovo and Metohija has an automobile." 
Asked by foreign journalists about alleged Church support to the Greater Serbian project, Pavle answer:
“ So I say: if a Great Serbia should be held by committing crime, I would never accept it; may Great Serbia disappear, but to hold it by crime - no. If it were necessary to hold only a small Serbia by crime, I would not accept it. May small Serbia disappear, but to hold it by crime - no. And if there is only one Serb, and if I am that last Serb, to hold on by crime - I do not accept. May we disappear, but disappear as humans, because then we will not disappear, we will be alive in the hands of the living God.[5]



Pavle with priests at Voljavča monastery, 2005

In his tenure as the Patriarch he healed the schism with the Free Serbian Orthodox Church, now known as the New Gračanica Metropolitanate, and he made efforts to heal the current schism in Macedonia [Nekros gia ton kosmo: FYROM] with the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which is considered uncanonical by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all other Eastern Orthodox churches. During his term, he visited numerous eparchies of the Serbian Orthodox Church both in Serbia and abroad. He visited Australia, United States, Canada and Western Europe. He was also a guest at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the White House.

Patriarch Pavle was the oldest among all living Patriarchs. He was especially devoted to and fond of the words of the Apostle Paul (after whom he was named Pavle), whom he often quoted and expressed admiration for.

On 27 April 2007, the Holy Synod announced that it had named the Metropolitan of Zagreb, Ljubljana and all Italy Jovan as the Guardian of the throne (taking over the Patriarch's duties temporarily) while patriarch Pavle was recovering in Sveti Sava hospital. He was discharged from hospital on May 1 and returned to his duties on May 14. The Patriarch's health worsened and he was restricted to a wheelchair. On 13 November 2007 Pavle was admitted to a medical clinic, and the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije Radović, as the oldest member, was elected by the Holy Synod to conduct the duties of the Patriarch.[6] On 20 November 2007 it was announced that his life was in danger. On 17 May 2008 the Holy Synod took over all Patriarch Pavle’s duties owing to his inability to carry out his functions.[7] On 12 October 2008 His Holiness was reported to have asked the Holy Synod to accept his resignation because of declining physical ability.[8] On 11 November 2008, the Holy Synod decided to turn down his request and to ask him to remain on the throne for life.[9]


Controversy

Patriarch Pavle had been heavily criticized for his actions during the Yugoslav wars. The Orthodox church had been viewed as promoters of Serb nationalismBosniaks and Croats.[who?] Also, along with Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadžić, he rejected the Vance-Owen peace plan,[10] and supported Karadžić in that there were no rape camps that kept Muslim women, but accused Bosnian Muslims and Croats of the same thing.[11]
by many

He was also criticized for his support of the unrecognized breakaway Serb republic in Croatia, the Republic of Serbian Krajina. When a swift Croatian offensive put the western Slavonia region back in Croatian control, he urgently telephoned Slobodan Milošević, asking if he will defend Serbia's "brethren in need." [12] Several months later on July 31, 1995, he traveled to the Krajina capital Knin with Ratko Mladić (currently indicted for war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), to assure the rebel Serbs of military and religious support.[13] However, Krajina ceased to exist just several days later, following Operation Storm that resulted in 200,000-250,000 Serbian refugees.[14] Several years later, when invited to Zagreb by Croatian Archbishop Josip Bozanić for talks on peace, he was snubbed by several leading Croatian party members and Christian groups for his and the Orthodox Church's role with the rebel Serbs during the war.[15]


Patriarch Pavle urged Belgrade not to give up Karadžić and Mladić, who have been indicted for war crimes, to the ICTY.[10][16]


[Nekros gia ton kosmo: Patriarch Paul may be right in all the aforementioned, because during the Yugoslav Wars, political games were being played by the New World Order, which (according to the Serbs) had altered the true picture of events that were broadcast by the international Mass Media.]

Death


Grave of Patriarch Pavle at Rakovica monastery

Pavle died on 15 November 2009, after more than two years spent in the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.[17] Citizens were able to pay tribute to Patriarch Pavle at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Belgrade.[18] The Divine Liturgy was held on November 19 inside St. Michael's Cathedral (Saborna Crkva), with His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch +Bartholomew presiding, while the funeral service was held outside of Cathedral of Saint Sava and he was laid to rest on 19 November, in Rakovica[19] The funeral was attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Patriarch Daniel of Romania, Filaret, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, Metropolitan Christopher of Prague and Roman Catholic Cardinal Angelo Sodano.[20]
monastery.

The Government of Serbia announced three days of national mourning over the death of Patriarch Pavle,[21] while Republika Srpska, City of Belgrade and Brčko District declared the funeral day as the official day of mourning.[22][23][24] President Boris Tadić said that the patriarch's death was an "irredeemable loss for the entire Serbian nation."[25] Condolences to the Serbian church, people and officials were sent by Russian Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow,[26] Bulgarian Orthodox Church,[27] Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens held memorial service,[28] Patriarch Daniel of Romania,[29] Pope Benedict XVI,[30] Cardinal Walter Kasper,[31] Presidents and heads of Government of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany and France[32] as well as leaders of countries that are territorially part of the Serbian Orthodox Church - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro (President Filip Vujanović).[33] The Jewish community, both Islamic communities in Serbia, The Islamic community in Bosnia, and the Roman Catholic Church in Serbia sent condolences.[34]


He was succeeded by the bishop of Niš Irinej Gavrilović in January 2010.



Patriarch Pavle – ON PRAYER
 
Prayer as the Essential Need of Man 


Prayer is the pious direction of man’s soul to God, or the communication of the heart with God, through which God is represented before man as man pours the feelings of his soul before Him. It is the lifting of the mind and the heart to God and with it man is carried to the angelic choir and becomes a member of their blessedness. Prayer is the incense most acceptable to God, that most secure bridge for the passage over the tempting waves of life, the indestructible stone of all who believe, the peaceful landing place, the divine garment which clothes the soul with great goodness and beauty. Prayer is the mother of all good deeds, the keeper of the cleanliness of the body (chastity), the seal of maidenhood, the secure fence against our eternal enemy, the devil. It drives away enemies through the name of Christ, since there is no means powerful in the heavens or on the earth. Prayer is the fortification of the world pleading for God’s mercy for our sins, that landing place which the waves cannot destroy, the enlightenment of the mind, the axe to spare destruction of sadness, the breeding of hope assuaging the wrath, the advocate to all those who are undergoing trial, the joy of those who are in prison, the salvation of those who are dying. It made the whale become the home of Jonah, it brought Ezekiel back to life from the doors of death, and it converted the flames to dew for the Babylonian youths. With prayer St. Elijah closed the heavens so that the rain did not fall for three years and six months (James 5:17). When the apostles themselves were unable to cast out the unclean spirits, Christ told them, “This one cannot go out , except by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21).

There is nothing more precious in man’s life than prayer. It makes the impossible, possible; it makes the difficult, easy; the uncomfortable, it makes comfortable. Prayer is as important to man’s soul as breathing. Who does not pray is deprived of conversation with God and is similar to the tree that bears no fruit and is cut and cast into the fire (Matt. 7:19).

“When you direct yoru mind and thoughts to the heavens,” says St. Makarios the Great, “and want to unite yourself unto the Lord, then a great multitude of evil spirits, like a black cloud, lingers over you, that it might deter your path to heaven. But, just as the old walls of Jericho fell by the power of God, so too will these stones of evil which are deterring your mind be destroyed by the power of God. When you are in prayer, remember before whom you stand. Be deaf and dumb to everything that surrounds you, invoke the Lord for help and He will help you. It’s necessary to uproot all feelings of wrath and to completely cleanse ourselves of murderous feelings of bodily desires, regardless of who they might be directed to.”

1 σχόλιο:

lpap είπε...

Όταν το 1997 η Θεσσαλονίκη ήταν η πολιτιστική πρωτεύουσα της Ελλάδας είχαν προσκληθεί και όλοι οι επίσκοποι, πατριάρχες κλπ...σχεδόν όλη η ορθοδοξία. Παρετέθησαν δεξιώσεις κλπ..Ό μόνος που δεν παρέστη σε αυτές ήταν ο πατριάρχης Παύλος ο οποίος το βράδυ λειτούργησε στο μετόχι της Σιμωνόπετρας στη Θεσσαλονίκη!!! Ήταν εξαιρετική μορφή.Από τους τελευταίους ξεχωριστούς σε ηγετικές θέσεις!! Ο Θεός να τον αναπαύει(βασικά είμαι σίγουρη γι αυτό επειδή ο Θεός όσους τον αγαπούν τους αμοίβει).