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Serbian Patriarch Porfirije awards Sretenje Order to Metropolitan Damaskinos of Didymoteicho

On 6 June 2024, at the History Museum in Belgrade, His Beatitude Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia attended a ceremony where the Sretenje Order was awarded to His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Didymoteicho, Orestiada, and Soufli. The award, presented on behalf of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Aleksandar Vučić, was given by the Minister of Culture, Mr. Nikola Selaković.

Minister Selaković highlighted that Metropolitan Damaskinos earned this prestigious recognition for his efforts in preserving the memory of the Battle of Maritsa and honouring the fallen Serbian and Christian rulers. “The Metropolitan celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Ormeni, praying for the souls of our warriors who perished in the Battle of Maritsa. After the Liturgy, he organised literary evenings dedicated to Despot Jovan Uglješa Mrnjavčević,” explained Minister Selaković.

Selaković, who initiated the erection of a memorial in Ormeni, emphasised Metropolitan Damaskinos’s support for constructing a Church next to the monument at the Battle of Maritsa site. This project was undertaken in collaboration with the Brotherhood of the Holy Larva of the Simonopetra Monastery of Mount Athos. The Metropolitan also advocated for the possible canonisation of Despot Jovan Uglješa, recognising his role as the second founder of the Simonopetra monastery, a significant spiritual and intellectual centre on Mount Athos. “This award goes to our Greek metropolitan, our Greek brother, who preserved something we had almost forgotten,” stressed Minister Selaković.

Metropolitan Damaskinos expressed his gratitude to President Vučić and Minister Selaković for the honour of receiving the Sretenje Order. He emphasised that the Battle of Maritsa sends a powerful message of unity among the Christian peoples of the Balkans in their shared pursuit of Christian ideals and beliefs.

Source: Serbian Patriarchate