Page 748 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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Protopresbyter-stavrophor Savo B. jović
On March 23, 1950, the Holy Synod of Bishops sent the report of the State Commission for Religious affairs of the People’s Republic of Serbia that the church in Uroševac was freed and turned over for the use of church authorities to Bishop Vladimir of Raška and Prizren.39
Since Bishop Vladimir of Raška and Prizren had inter- vened with the State Religious Commission of the People’s Republic of Serbia to prevent the destruction of the fence around the Prizren Cathedral, the Holy Synod of Bishops decided in a meeting on april 25, 1950, to await the results of the intervention.40
The Year 1951
Besides Bishop Vladimir, the Holy Synod of Bishops also received reports about the difficulties of the Serbs in Koso- vo and Metohija from priests, monks and nuns, among them Prota Stevan M. Dimitrijević, who says:
“While involved with this year’s examinations in the Prizren Seminary, i learned about our religious and na- tional situation there. On days when there were no exams, i went to the neighboring monasteries of St. Mark and the Holy Trinity, and also visited other places nearby. On my return after the end of exams i visited Djakovica, Visoki Dečani Monastery and the monastery of the Peć Patriarch- ate in Peć. although i imagine that from the accounts of His Grace Bishop Vladimir of Raška and Prizren the diffi- cult situation—both his personally and of our Orthodoxy in general—is for the most part well-known on the other side, i nevertheless consider it to be my duty to inform the Holy Synod of Bishops about only some of our most seri- ous misfortunes that i have seen and heard about. it is pos- sible that the people, frightened by the great terror of the enemy during the occupation, were still afraid afterward in freedom to tell their Bishop everything. But now, when the treatment of the Seminary and religion in general is such that we can breathe and speak more freely, it may be useful to repeat things we already know but about which we could do nothing to rectify mistakes and injustices. We can only hope that the time is right for that and that the highest rep- resentative office of our Church can take steps and offer help, serving His Grace Bishop Vladimir as reason and mo- tive to create cooperation on the spot for rebuilding of ru- ins and protection from further savagery and destruction. He has won both the love of the people and the trust of the autorities with his mild appeals, and could quietly begin this restoration and succeed in it.
The main mass campaign for the eradication of our churches and our people was initiated by the albanian Mus- lims immediately after the arrival of the italian occupier. The monastery of St. Mark above the village of Koriša, where there are 20 Serb households, was completely de-
39 AHSB, Syn No 631/zap. 207/50.
40 AHSB, Syn No 895/zap. 283/50.
molished, all buildings were destroyed by the albanians from the village of Kabaša in the hills above the monastery. During the Balkan War and World War i, also, they plun- dered all the monastery’s property, carrying off the doors, the windows and even the iconostasis and its doors, which they put on the paddocks where they enclose sheep. Now even more destructively they leveled everything with the ground, again shattering the cover on the tomb of Simo igumanov, which they also broke into pieces and scattered during the last war, and after that war we collected them from the area with students from the Seminary and glued them with cement. Now they have even toppled the bells from the bell tower. Some believe that the pieces rolled to the river and were buried in the sand, and there are rumors that the smaller bell remained whole and was secretly sold to some Catholic church. We need to investigate this.
it is hard to believe that these savages would leave met- al that is so expensive these days to roll and be buried in the river. it has either been sold or is being hidden in the hous- es of Kabaša. This could be established by Our Serbs in Koriša could find out, and offer to buy the pieces and give some sort of reward. One of the two monastery bells was enormous, poured in Moscow in 1857 but it cracked dur- ing ringing and the igumanov endowment had it recoated. it will be able to assist greatly once again in the restoration of the monastery of St. Mark because of the location of the tomb of its founder. a Council for restoration needs to be formed in Prizren that includes the Koriša Serbs and prep- arations can begin for this difficult but realizable undertak- ing. i have said something about this although privately and without authority.
What can make us happy and refresh us in our concern about the general situation in Prizren is the restoration of the antique endowment of King Stephen the First-crowned, the Most Holy Theotokos of Ljeviša, later dubbed by the people St. Paraskeva, which is being masterfully done. i have asked engineer Slobodan Nenadović, who is dedi- cated to directing this work, to once again visit, study and propose that the cave above the monastery of St. Mark where St. Petar of Koriša lived his ascetic life be placed un- der state protection. in front of these, an artificial wall was restored in the time of King Milutin and emperor Dušan connecting [the monastery] with the cliff and the hermit- age of the Saint, a magnificent endowment that became a place of pilgrimage, a gift to the holy shrine lasting for cen- turies until our own time. The fresco remnants in the her- mitage, and the main pillars with the preserved domes of this important antiquity deserve for their originality in both architecture and icon writing to be declared a national mon- ument and placed under the protection of a state institu- tion for the protection and preservation of our antiquities. if this was done, then the monastery of St. Mark as the closest location would be like before the supervising guard- ian of this original antique holy shrine. St. Mark’s was once a metoh [church estate] of St. Peter of Koriša; after violent

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