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MID-AMERICAN DIOCESE: July 21, 2017
On the Feast Day of the Royal Passion-Bearers, His Holiness Patriarch Irenej of Serbia Celebrates Divine Liturgy at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago

On July 4/17, 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia officiated at the celebration of Divine Liturgy at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL. His Holiness is presently in the United States having led the glorification of St Mardarije in Libertyville, IL, on July 2/15 and 3/16. The other hierarchs participating in the day’s festivities at the Diocesan Cathedral were:

Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenergro (Church of Serbia)
Metropolitan Nicolae of the Americas (Church of Romania)
Archbishop Nikodim of Severodonetsk and Starobelsk (Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate)
Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia)
Bishop Longin of New-Gracanica and the Midwest (Church of Serbia)
Bishop Irinej of Eastern-America (Church of Serbia)
Bishop Kyrill of Diocleia (Church of Serbia)

In addition to the many gathered hierarchs, a multitude of priests and deacons from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church in America took part in the festive service.

During the Divine Liturgy prayerful petitions were included for His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (who was celebrating his birthday on this day) and the servant of God Draze (Dragolub) Mikhailovich and all Orthodox Christians who were martyred and otherwise slain by the Godless powers.

Following the Divine Liturgy His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America greeted Patriarch Irinej and presented him with a gift for the Serbian Church: one of the miters of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. As our readers are no doubt aware, St John found sanctuary along with many other refugees of the Bolshevik Revolution in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Further, St John’s consecration to the episcopate took place in Serbia and with the participation of Serbian hierarchs. Patrairch Irinej thanked Archbishop Peter for the beautiful and prayerful Divine Liturgy and remarked kindly on the importance of the Russian Orthodox Church in today’s world and the long-standing brotherly relations between the Russian and Serbian people.

“Many Years” was then sung for His Holiness, the other gathered bishops, as well as His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Following the kissing of the cross by the many faithful from throughout the diocese who had gathered for the celebration, the cathedral’s Sisterhood presented a delicious meal for the hierarchs, clergy, and choir who participated in the Divine Services. The guests stayed well into the afternoon enjoying the fraternal atmosphere which marked this day.

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