SAINT MARDARIJE OF LIBERTYVILLE – A GIFT TO AMERICA

 

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The Commemoration of St. Mardarije (December 12), began on Sunday, 12/11/16, with Hierarchical Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Chicago celebrated by Metropolitan Amfilohije (Montenegro and Coastlands), Bishop Longin (New Gracanica-Midwest America), Bishop Maxim (Western America), Bishop Irinej (Eastern America) and Bishop Kirilo (of Diocletia, assistant administrator of South America) along with Cathedral clergy Fr. Darko Spasojevic, Fr. Radovan Jakovljevic, Protodeacons Milovan Gogic, Pavle Starcevic and deacons Nenad Jakovljevic and Jovan Anicic. The Liturgy was well attended and responses were sung by the Branko Radicevic choir.  Metropolitan Amfilohije gave a moving homily wherein he spoke of Saint Mardarije stressing that our Serbian homeland gave to America the best gift — Holy Saints — St. Mardarije, St. Sebastian, St. Varnava and St. Nikolai who following in the steps of St. Sava worked tirelessly to evangelize the Serbian Orthodox. He also touched on American life and counseled against the sin of abortion. Following the liturgy a luncheon was held in the hall which included a program providing commentary regarding the Crete sabor by Metropolitan Amfilohije, Bishop Longin and Bishop Irinej who all attended the sabor.

On Monday, December 12, 2016, the actual feast date of St. Mardarije, Hierarchical Liturgy was served at St. Sava Monastery, Libertyville where Metropolitan Amfilohije, Bishop Longin, Bishop Sava (retired Bishop of Slavonija), Bishop Irinej and Bishop Kirilo concelebrated with more than 20 priests and 5 deacons of the Midwest and Eastern dioceses with faithful laity in attendance. Following the Liturgy, a beautiful Akatist was solemnly served at the grave of St. Mardarije located on the right side of the Church, followed by the cutting of the Slavski kolac.

img_1478As Metropolitan Amfilohije has emphasized, Libertyville Illinois has been given a great gift — the church of St. Sava, and its founder, our holy Saint Mardarije. Let us acknowledge this endowment by constantly venerating St. Mardarije and asking for his intercession before Christ our God as well as supporting the Libertyville renovation project to continue the work begun decades before us.

O tireless preacher of Christ the Lord, Saint-Sava like leader of your people in the Diaspora, diligent builder and teacher of repentance, whose rule of life was: Sowing Christian love, spreading peace, quieting passions, preaching good and turning people into brothers. O Saint Mardarije of Libertyville and America, with all the Enlighteners of the American land, Beseech the only Lover of mankind to grant peace and unity to the Orthodox people!

-Kondak to St. Mardarije

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A pan-Orthodox celebration of St. Mardarije’s canonization is being planned for July 16, 2017 by Bishop Longin.  Read more about St. Mardarije in an excellent Sebastian Press title “To the Glory of God the Father” The lives of Saint Mardarije and Saint Sebastian, 2015 (Editor: Bishop Maxim) and a beautiful Sveti Gora Press (2016) booklet entitled “St. Mardarije of Lesanj-Libertyville and All America, biography, service and Akatist.” (Editor: Metropolitan Amfilohije) both available in New Gracanica bookstore.

A book about St. Mardarije for children can be purchased at Potamitis Publishing.

-MS