Patron Saint of the Diocese of Backa celebrated in Sombor
The patron saint of the Diocese of Backa – the Miracle of the Holy Archangel Michael in Chona, was celebrated on September 19, 2020 in Sombor. The Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church-yard of the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was officiated by His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa and His Grace Vicar Bishop Isihije of Mohács, clergy and monks of the Diocese of Backa.
Congratulating the diocesan feast-day, Bishop Irinej pointed out the history of the miraculous event that was celebrated and the great importance of angelic forces in the life of every person. -Holy angels and archangels serve our salvation. They co-celebrate at the Holy Liturgy, together with us, they follow us in prayers throughout our lives, they follow every human being and they follow the whole world. Continuously serving the Lord – they also serve us; by serving us, they also serve the Lord. Therefore, it is very precious that this day was chosen as the Patron saint of our Diocese, stated the Bishop of Backa and reminded that the Patron saint was celebrated every year in another church of the Diocese of Backa.
– Unfortunately, this year, the usual academic program was not feasable and we did not invite our faithful from other places to attend, due to medical recommendations, in order to avoid mass gatherings; there is still an epidemic from which we believe that God will save all our people and the whole world. We are fully aware that our life cannot turn into a permanent and incurable pandemic of fear, that we should shy away from each other, and that – unconsciously and especially through the media – an idea that our neighbor is not our neighbor, but that he should be something further away from us, should not enter our minds. On the contrary, the truth of life, the way God created man, is that only in community, in the community of love, is there true human life. We respect medical measures to the extent when they do not endanger the very essence of human life as a divine person, as a God-man community, said the Bishop of Backa.
Hierarch’s charters of recognition were awarded, at the suggestion of the Bishop of Backa, to the city of Sombor, Mr. Zdravko Bjelajc, Miroslav Lazendic and Predrag Stevandic, Mrs. Radica Pajsalic and Biljana Aleksic, as well as to Mr. Bogdan and Mrs. Nada Todorov from Sombor.
The choir of the School of Church Chanting at the Church Community of Novi Sad, St. John of Damascus, and the choir of Holy Emperor Constantine and Empress Jelena from Sombor enhanced the beauty of the liturgical worship.
This year, a great jubilee was celebrated in Sombor – 230 years of the Church of St. John. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first canonical visit of the then newly enthroned Bishop of Backa, Dr. Irinej, to the deanery of Sombor.
The faithful of the Diocese of Backa have been celebrating the Holy Archangel Michael, their intercessor before God, since 1971.