THE HOLY MARTYR LAZAR [LAZARUS], SERBIAN PRINCE

lazarLazar was one of the Serbian noblemen who ruled the Serbian empire after the death of Tsar Dushan. After the death of Tsar Urosh, Patriarch Ephrem crowned Lazar as the Serbian king. Lazar sent a delegation to Constantinople with the monk Isaiah to implore the patriarch to lift [remove] the anathema from the Serbian people. He fought against the Turkish powers on several occasions. Finally, he clashed [fought] on the Field of Blackbirds [Kosovo Polje] on June 15, 1389 A.D. against the Turkish Emperor Amurat where he was beheaded. His body was translated and interred in Ravanica, his memorial church [Zaduzbina] near Cuprija and later was translated to Ravanica in Srem and from there, during the Second World War (1942) was translated to Belgrade and placed in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Archangel Michael where it rests today incorrupt and extends comfort and healing to all those who turn to him with prayer. [In 1989, on the occasion of the six-hundred year anniversary of his martyrdom, St. Lazar’s relics were again translated to the monastery of Ravanica in Cuprija]. St. Lazar restored the monasteries of Hilendar [Mt. Athos] and Gornjak. He built Ravanica and Lazarica [in Krusevac] and was a benefactor of the Russian monastery St. Pantaleon [Mt. Athos] as well as many other churches and monasteries.

THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THE BATTLE OF KOSOVO 1389 AND ITS CULTURAL EFFECT ON THE SERBIAN PEOPLE

 

Kosovo battle (1389) painted by Adam Stefanovic , 1870-1871

Kosovo battle (1389) painted by Adam Stefanovic , 1870-1871

by Mark Gottfried (1972)

The Serbian culture endured through five centuries of Turkish occupation, although the Turks offered security and prosperity, for conversion to Turkish life styles. This Serbian culture was retarded for five centuries, after the Serbian defeat on the plain of Kosovo.

From a culture that led Europe and the Balkans during the Medieval period, the Serbian culture degenerated and stagnated, to the point that when it regained its freedom it had centuries to recover. The Turkish victory at Kosovo, was not as much political as it was cultural. «Turkish historians lay more stress on the Battle of Maritza eighteen years before, which they call Serb Sindin (Serbian defeat).» The military destiny of Serbia was sealed at Maritza. Contemporary chroniclers, without the benefit of hindsight, felt that Kosovo was only one of a series of bloody engagements, leading to the collapse of the Serbian kingdom. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Justin Popović

Fresco of Elder Justin Popovic, in the church of Pantanassa (of Vatopedi monastery) in Porto Lagos

Fresco of Elder Justin Popovic, in the church of Pantanassa (of Vatopedi monastery) in Porto Lagos

Justin Popović (Serbian Cyrillic Јустин Поповић) (1894-1979) was a theologian, Dostoyevski scholar, a champion of anti-Communism, a writer, a critic of the pragmatic church (celestial) life, a philosopher of the Eastern Orthodox theology and archimandrite of the Ćelije Monastery, near Valjevo.

The early years
Archimandrite Justin was born to pious and God-fearing parents, Prota (Priest) Spiridon and Protinica (Presbytera) Anastasija Popović, in Vranje, South Serbia, on the Feast of Annunciation, March 25, 1894. At baptism, he was given the name Blagoje, after the Feast of the Annunciation (Blagovest means Annunciation or Good News). He was born into a priestly family, as seven previous generations of the Popovićs (Popović in Serbian actually means «family or a son of a priest») were headed by priests.

Blagoje Popović completed the nine-years’ studies at the Theological Faculty of St. Sava in Belgrade in 1914. In the early twentieth century the School of St. Sava in Belgrade was renowned throughout the Orthodox world as a holy place of extreme asceticism as well as of a high quality of scholarship. Some of the well-known professors were the rector, Fr. Domentian; Professor Fr. Dositheus, later a bishop; Athanas Popović; and the great ecclesiastical composer, Stevan Mokranjac. Still, one professor stood head and shoulders above the rest: the then hieromonk Nikolaj Velimirović, Ph.D., the single most influential person in his life.
 World War I
During the early part of World War I, in autumn of 1914, Blagoje served as a student nurse primarily in South Serbia-Skadar, Niš, Kosovo, etc. Unfortunately, while in this capacity, he contracted typhus during the winter of 1914 and had to spend over a month in a hospital in Niš. On January 8, 1915, he resumed his duties sharing the destiny of the Serbian army, passing a path of Golgotha from Peć to Skadar (along which one hundred thousand Serbian soldiers died) where on January 1, 1916 he entered the monastic order in the Orthodox cathedral of Skadar and took the name of St. Justin, after the great Christian philosopher and martyr for Christ, St. Justin the Philosopher.

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