CEREMONY IN SERBIA 22 11 2020

On November 22, 2020 in the Cathedral of St. Sava in Belgrade there was a funeral service for the Serbian Patriarch Irinej attended by representatives of the government of Serbia and Montenegro, clergy of Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches, members of the Russian academy of Arts.

In his speech at the funeral ceremony the Serbian President Alexander Vucic noted that the Patriarch Irinej had very much contributed to the development of close ties with the Russian Orthodox Church and highly appreciated the assistance of Russia in the construction of St. Sava Cathedral, the biggest in the Balkans. The Cathedral has been erected as a monument symbolizing the rebirth and strengthening of the spiritual life of Serbian people and Orthodoxy. The work at the recreation of the interior mosaic decoration of the Cathedral has been executed by the Russian Academy of Arts and specialists of the mosaic workshop of the Moscow Foundation for Support to UNESCO under the supervision of the People's Artist of Russia, Academician of the Russian academy of Arts Nickolai Mukhin since 2016.

Irinej was born as Miroslav Gavrilovic in Vidova in 1930. He was elected the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church on January 22, 2010. The 90-year old Patriarch died on November 20, 2020 fr om complications caused by the coronavirus.

The President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Serbian President Alexander Vucic over the passing of Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wh ere he appreciated the Patriarch's contribution to the strengthening of unity of the Orthodox world.

The letter of condolences has been also sent by the President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli. In particular, he noted: "It was with deep sadness, that I learnt about the death of the Holy Patriarch of Serbia Irinej, an ascetic of our time surrounded by national love who has headed the Serbian Orthodox Church for over 10 years. I was lucky not only to be personally acquainted with His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, but also participated in some Russian-Serbian projects under his blessing including the recreation of the interior mosaic decoration of the Cathedral of St. Sava in Belgrade which now is being successfully completed by Academicians of the Russian Academy of Arts and graduates of its institutes.

I will always keep in memory the cordial atmosphere of those memorable meetings, the Patriarch's sincere interest in the development and implementation of the iconographic program of the altar space of the largest in the Balkans Cathedral, his personal visit to mosaic workshops of the Russian Academy of Arts. The Serbian Patriarch Irinej has been a great citizen of his country, distinguished and

talented, one of the most authoritative theologians and hierarchs, a very reverend Patriarch in the Orthodox world, so he will always remain in our memory".

The Patriarch of Serbia Irinej was buried in the crypt inside the Cathedral of St. Sava.



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