The President of the state, Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, awarded the high state honor “Order of Merit for the State” to the Bigorski Monastery.
Today, in a particularly solemn and dignified atmosphere at the presidential residence on Vodno, marking the grand jubilee: “1000 Years of the Bigorski Monastery,” the President of the State, Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, awarded the high state honor “Order of Merit for the State” to the Bigorski Monastery. The order was presented to our abbot and bishop, Bishop Mr. Partenij, in the presence of: the Prime Minister of the Government Mr. Zoran Zaev, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia Mr. Mr. Stefan, the Metropolitan of Debar and Kichevo Mr. Timotej, the Metropolitan of Tetovo and Gostivar Mr. Josif, Bishop of Heraclea Mr. Kliment, ministers and representatives of the Government, heads of religious communities, professors, guests, and part of the brotherhood and sisterhood of our monasteries.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the opera singer Naum Naumovski first performed the National Anthem of Macedonia, followed by the reading of the initiative for the award, and then President Mr. Pendarovski delivered his address on the great and significant spiritual-historical work that the Bigorski Monastery has accomplished throughout its millennium. Among other things, he highlighted:
Our abbot, Bishop Mr. Partenij, also delivered an inspired speech and message to the Macedonian public, firstly deeply and humbly thanking for this pious state initiative, then reflecting on the significance and role of the Orthodox Church in contemporary society and its challenges in addressing current temptations. As a clergyman who daily faces people’s problems and temptations, Bishop Partenij, among other things, emphasized:
Bishop Partenij also reflected on the contemporary problems within the Orthodox Church:
“Sometimes it seems that we forget the call that Christ made to His disciples: You are the light of the world… you are the salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13-14). And if the salt loses its strength, then we cannot expect someone else or something else to season human souls with the grace of God, grace that enlightens, liberates, soothes, and heals the wounds in people’s souls. The disputes and battles for dominance in the Orthodox ecumene, in an attempt to bypass, and even demolish the already established canonical order and tradition regarding primacy in the Church, indicate that indeed the salt of love, which is the only building factor in the Church and in interpersonal relations, in general, has indeed become insipid. However, no force can overshadow the Divine light of God’s revelation in the Orthodox Church, and it always finds a way to break through the darkness and the melancholy of vain existence in this world. A clear indicator of this is the activity not only of the Bigorski Monastery, for whose glory we are now gathered, but also of the entire local Orthodox Church. In the context of this, I sincerely welcome the support of the state leadership for the final resolution of the open issue with the recognition of our holy Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric…”
In conclusion, he once again thanked President Pendarovski for the high award:
“Finally, as the abbot of the Holy Bigorski Monastery, I would like to once again thank President Mr. Stevo Pendarovski and his associates for the high state honor, which pays tribute to the countless Bigorski fathers, teachers, and actors, who throughout ten centuries have manifested Christ’s light, joy, enlightenment, and love, making Bigorski a beacon of celestial and earthly events, a precursor to our statehood, the heart of our spirituality.
Thank you for your attention! Many years!”
The solemn atmosphere in Villa “Vodno” was further enriched by the chanting of the monastic choir at the Bigorski Monastery, which concluded today’s award ceremony.