Preserve Hilandar

President Aleksandar Vučić at Christmas in Hilandar


The President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Aleksandar Vučić visited the Holy Hilandar Monastery during the Christmas holidays. This is the second visit of Aleksandar Vučić to the Holy Imperial Serbian Lavra in Hilandar as head of state. He made an official visit to the monastery during the Christmas holidays in 2021.

President Vučić arrived on Mount Athos on Christmas Day, accompanied by his son Danilo and MP Nenad Popović. In his message, right after he set foot on Hilandar land, the president emphasized that he is proud of the Serbian people and that support for the monastery is provided on an annual basis through the decisions of the Assembly of Serbia.

“I am proud of the fact that we have preserved something that is the being and essence of our people, and I thank the wonderful monks and novices for preserving everything that belongs to our nation”, said Vučić.

The president was met at the monastery gate by the abbot of the Holy Monastery of Hilandar, Archimandrite Metodije, with the brotherhood.

In the evening hours, in the Hilandar synodical, a meeting was held between President Aleksandar Vučić and the management of the monastery headed by Abbot Metodije.

During the meeting, it was concluded that the state of Serbia provided all the necessary funds for the completion of the reconstruction of the burnt part of the monastery, which is expected to be completed in the middle of 2024.

Milivoj Ranđić, director of the Endowment of the Holy Monastery of Hilandar, informed President Vučić about everything that has been done in the last two years.

In addition to the projects for the reconstruction of the burnt part and the completion of the hybrid energy system for the production of electricity, the president confirmed that Serbia will also help with the following important projects, the complete reconstruction of the treasury with the construction of a depot, the reconstruction of the eastern dormitory where the hospital and the church building were once located. There was also talk about support for the development of the monastery economy, which is important for the self-maintenance of the monastery. Special attention was paid to the project of building a new winery, which would enable more efficient production of wine from the vineyards in Savino Polje.

Thanking President Vučić for everything he did for the Hilandar monastery, Abbot Metodije presented him with olive oil from the olive tree planted by Emperor Dušan in 1346, which is still bearing fruit today.

After the meeting, a dinner was arranged for the president and his entourage in a formal small dining room.

President Aleksandar Vučić attended the all-night vigil and the Holy Liturgy. During the liturgy, he read a Symbol of faith and the Our Father prayer.

After the Holy Liturgy, a festive meal was held, at which Abbot Methodius preached about the feast of the Nativity of the God-child, and especially thanked the president once again for the great and crucial help he provided to Hilandar. Aleksandar Vučić thanked the abbot for his hospitality, greeted the entire brotherhood, and wished everyone present a Merry Christmas.

The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, headed back to Serbia not long after the meal, due to urgent obligations due to the unpleasant events in Kosovo and Metohija, caused by attacks on Serbs by Albanians.

On Christmas Day, Albanian Azem Kurtaj shot Serbian boys Stefan Stojanović (11) and Miloš Stojanović (21) in the vicinity of Štrpac while they went to get the Christmas tree. The boys suffered serious injuries from the bullets, but their lives are out of danger. Since the attack happened during the president’s visit to Hilandar, he addressed himself from the monastery with a message: “May you be alive and well, Stefan. In Hilandar, too, we are all praying for you tonight. Christ is born!”. After that, on Christmas Day, another attack took place, when 18-year-old Stefan Tomić was beaten in Klokot, while he was returning from the Christmas service.

Photo: monk Milutin Hilandarac