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Fr. Daniel M. Rogić
trian control). Due to the migration it was deemed unsafe to leave the holy relics of Saint Lazar where they were, and so they were transferred to the ancient Church of St. an- drew on the northern side of the Danube River, near Budim. in 1697 they were transferred to the monastery of Vrdnik (aptly called “New Ravanica”) in Fruška Gora, Srem, dur- ing the austro-Turkish War; and then in 1716 they were taken to Fenek and Klenak for three months, and returned to Vrdnik, where they remained until World War ii. Be- cause of the terroristic anti-Serbian Orthodox “cleansing” activities by the Ustashi of the newly created axis satel- lite, the independent State of Croatia, Holy Martyr Lazar’s relics were transferred from Vrdnik and placed in front of the iconostasis in the Cathedral Church in Belgrade.
again Lazar was there during World War i when a quarter of a million Serbians lost their lives, and during World War ii, when over half a million were killed outright, just for being Orthodox Christians, in the independent State of Croatia. and he is still there today guiding his faithful Or- thodox Serbs back on to the right path after they foolishly accepted the “communist trap.” He gave them strength in their sufferings at the hands of the albanian extremist Kosovo Liberation army, and he gave them hope to cope with the sinful mistakes of the NaTO bombings in 1999. One thing is for certain—the Holy Martyr Lazar will never leave the Serbian Orthodox people, who venerate him in faith, hope, and love.
That is why, on june 15, 1989, according to the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Holy Martyr Lazar was taken back to his beloved monas- tery, Ravanica, in order to finally give him some comfort and joy. in a solemn procession the holy relics of Prince
Lazar were transferred to their ini- tial place of repose, in the Holy as- cension Church at Ravanica. as Patriarch German, the assembly of bishops, clergy and monastics, and all the faithful venerated the life giving body of Prince Lazar, the praises to him from the ikos of the Divine Services were chanted by all the faithful:
Thy fatherland and flock have possessed thee as a most honorable gift, both during thy life and after thy death, as fruitful wealth, a great defender, and a mighty warrior, O beloved of God Therefore, on the day of thy repose we offer up hymns of praise to thee, and magnifying thee we cry out to thee thus: Re- joice, off shoot of a pious father Re- joice, scion of a reverent mother Rejoice, for from thy youth thou didst follow the commandments of
God Rejoice, unshakable pillar of Orthodoxy Rejoice, build- er and adorner of holy churches Rejoice, thou who gavest abundant alms to the poor Rejoice, good shepherd, who didst lay down his life for the people of God Rejoice, for thou didst shed thy blood for piety’s sake Rejoice, thou who for this reason art numbered with the martyrs and hast received a habitation with them Rejoice, for Orthodoxy is adorned by thee Rejoice, for thy glory hath gone forth unto all the world Rejoice, our defender and deliverer And we offer this up to thee as to one who art worthy, and en treat thee: Grant re- ward to those who glorify thee and deliver us from every misfortune that we may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O ever- memorable Lazar!
Truly, Holy Great-Martyr Prince Lazar “travels” with his suffering people who need his intercessions due to their own sins as well as due to the trials and tribulations from those who persecute them. He has never left them alone. His commitment is eternal,
just as the mention of his glorious
name is synonymous with Kosovo
and Serbian Orthodoxy (Svetosav-
lje). He was there when his young-
est daughter Olivera was taken by
his tormentor, Bayazid, and placed
into his harem. He gave her strength
never to give up her Orthodox faith.
He was still there when Constanti-
nople fell in 1453, and Smederevo
in 1459, marking the end of benev-
olent Orthodox rule in the Byzan-
tine Commonwealth. He was com-
forting those young children who
were taken from their families in
the janissary system,5 also known
as the “tribute in blood,” an unjust
evil indoctrination system the Turks
carried out for over two centuries.
He was there watching in “joyful
sorrow” when his beloved Saint Sa-
va’s body was burned by the Turks
on Vračar Hill, on Holy Saturday, april 27, 1595. He suf- fered again with the rayah (Serbs treated as slaves), when they came to know their Patriarch as Milletbasha (ethn- arch), and when the Serbs lost their Patriarchate altogether from 1766 to 1920. He was there on Kosovo Polje during the Balkan War of 1912, when thousands of Kosovo Serbs were “cleansed” from their homeland, being transferred to the Greek island of Corfu by British and French ships.
5 The “janissaries” were an elite, celibate regiment of the Ottoman army comprised in part of children who had been abducted from their Orthodox parents and then raised as fanatical Muslims. They were taught hatred of Orthodox people and were then set loose against their own nation. No doubt some of them even unknowingly killed their own relatives.
Troparion to Great-Martyr Prince Lazar, Tone 3
Haing desired the beauty of God’s glory, * thou wast well-pleasing to Him on earth, * and thou didst double the tal- ent entrusted to thee, * cultivating it well, * and laboring over it unto the shedding of thy blood. Therefore, as a martyr thou
didst receive a reward for thy pains from
Christ God. * Pray to Him, O Lazar, * to save those who hymn thee.
Kontakion, Tone 8
Superb warrior of piety and unashamed martyr for the truth, * thy flock honor ably praises thee as is due, O wise one. * But as thou hast boldness before Christ God, we who glorify thee ask of thee humility that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O ever-mem- orable Lazar!

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