The feast of the Venerable Anastasia was celebrated at the Studenica Monastery On July 4, 2021. One of Studenica’s Slava (patron saint venerated once a year) was celebrated at the Studenica Monastery – the feast of the Venerable Anastasia.
The Holy Hierarchical Liturgy was officiated by His Grace the Right Reverend Dr. Justin Bishop of Žiča, with the co-officiation of Archimandrites Tihon (Rakićević), Damjan (Cvetković) and Sava (Ilić), hieromonks Vitalije (Milošević) and Kiprijan (Monastery of the Ascension), archpriest-stavrophore Slobodan Marković, archpriest Radoje Sanda, priest Dejan Tripković, as well as deacon Stefan Simić.
The nuns from the Monastery of the Annunciation with the abbess Mihaila embellished the feast day with their voices and singing.
Due to the large number of people who came to the celebration, this time the Liturgy was officiated in the open, on the foundations of the St. John’s church. This temple from the 14th century is preserved only in the lower zone. It was built somewhat later in relation to the time when King Milutin built the church of Saints Joachim and Anne in Studenica. At that time, no one other than the ruler and his family could get permission to build a church, so this temple is the endowment of Nemanjić dynasty members – king Milutin’s heirs. Archpriest-stavrophore Slobodan Marković from Kosjerić started to pray with great respect for the Venerable Anastasia together with his spiritual children three decades ago. Since then, dozens of believers from Kosjerić regularly come to this feast.
The Bishop spoke on the feast theme, emphasizing the importance of respecting the Venerable Anastasia. Among other instructive words, the Bishop pointed out: – “Through ignorant fishermen, God transmitted divine science to the whole world. He chose them for the apostolic mission because the vocation of the fishermen was filled with constant hope. It often happens that they do not catch anything, so they need faith and calm. They often return home empty-handed, but they always return to their calling in calm and hope. When they met the Lord, they left everything and followed Him. They were not attracted by the power of the authorities of this world, but by the Truth they felt.”
The bishop reminded those present that our Saint Sava, like the apostle, left everything at the call of the Lord. He added: – “It was difficult for his parents, but they still blessed him and supported him to persevere on the monastic path. That is how the history of the holy dynasty of Nemanjić began. Venerable Anastasia was distinguished by her fear of God, with which she followed the wise virgins of Christ that we are told about in the Gospel.” The Bishop emphasized that even today we should not be tied to the temporary, but look at the Heavenly Jerusalem. In this way, we will follow the Lord and His saints, among whom is the Venerable Anastasia. God’s call gives us both strength and grace to live by God’s commandments.
Many people attended the Holy Liturgy and approached the Cup of Salvation (Holy Communion – Eucharist), and then, in festive joy, the Slava wheat was consecrated and a Slava bread was cut in honor of the Venerable Anastasia. The table of Christian love (agape) followed in this beautiful day which the Lord illuminated with the rays of His love.
Brotherhood of the Studenica Monastery
Photo: Stefan Medarović