This morning, in the TEMPLE of Saint Sava in Vracar, the hierarch’s liturgy began, which is served by the Serbian Patriarch Porphyry on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of the 45th head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej.
After the liturgy, the Patriarch of Porphyry will serve a memorial service on the tomb of Patriarch Irinej in the crypt of the Temple.
Patriarch Irinej passed away on November 20 last year in the military kovid hospital “Karaburma” in Belgrade.
Patriarch Irinej is the first head of the Serbian Orthodox Church to be buried in the crypt of the Temple of Saint Sava.
In addition to the tomb in which Irinej rests, there are several other grave sites, because in the future, the leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church will be buried in the crypt of the Temple, unless they express a different wish.
The part of the crypt where the patriarchs will be buried – the ambulatory is very rare in Orthodox churches and only a few Orthodox churches in the world have this space.
The outpatient clinic in the Temple of Saint Sava in Vracar was built on the model of Saint Sophia of Constantinople.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej (Miroslav Gavrilović) was born on August 27, 1930 in the village of Vidova near Čačak.
He finished elementary school in his native village, and after high school in Čačak and the seminary in Prizren. Then he graduated from the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade.
After completing his military service, he was appointed deputy (professor) of the Prizren seminary. Before taking office as a professor in October 1959, he received the monastic rank in the monastery of Rakovica from the Serbian patriarch German, receiving the monastic name Irinej.
On the day of Holy Friday of the same year, he was ordained a hieromonk in the church of Ružica on Kalemegdan.
While serving as a professor at the Prizren seminary, he was sent to postgraduate studies in Athens. He was appointed the director of the Monastic School in the Ostrog monastery in 1969, from where he returned to Prizren to the position of rector of the famous seminary.
In 1974, he was elected vicar of the Serbian Patriarch with the title of Bishop of Moravica. He was elected Bishop of Nis in 1975.
On January 22, 2010, at the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, he was elected Archbishop of Peja, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Patriarch of Serbia.
By the way, the part of the crypt in which Patriarch Irinej is buried stretches between the foundations of the Temple of Saint Sava and has pillars with a maximum height of 6.20 meters. The depth of the Temple is about seven meters.
The ceiling is painted in the Byzantine style, and the frescoes were made by our icon painters.
The completion of the crypt and its painting was blessed by Patriarch Pavle in 2001.
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