Celebration of Devič Monastery’s patronal feastday, Saint Joanikije of Devič
On Friday, December 14th, Bishop Teodosije of Raška-Prizren tonsured novice Persida of Devič Monastery to the little schema at the vigil for the Monastery’s patron saint, Saint Joanikije of Devič, giving her the monastic name Jovana. Mother Anastasija, the abbess of Devič Monastery, brought Novice Persida forward during the vigil to give her monastic vows. Nun Jovana was named after Saint Joanna the Myrrh-bearer, whose feast is celebrated on the third Sunday after Pascha, the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearers.
A festal vigil was served by His Eminence Archbishop Amfilohije of Cetinje together with His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Raška-Prizren and retired Bishop Atanasije of Herzegovina. A large number of priests and monastics from throughout the Diocese were also in attendance. Many lay people came to the Monastery from all over to venerate the relics of St. Joanikije of Devič and to share in the spiritual joy of the feast with the Sisterhood.
After completing the service of monastic tonsure, Bishop Teodosije greeted everyone with the Feast of Saint Joanikije, and congratulated Sister Jovana upon receiving monastic tonsure. He compared the struggles of the nuns of Devič Monastery and the whole Diocese with those of the Myrrh-bearing women, pointing out how both remained faithful in the face of suffering and emphasizing how the nuns did not abandon the Monastery even in the most dangerous period. Rather, they endured a true Golgotha, survived the destruction of the Monastery, but then experienced the great joy of the Monastery’s resurrection.
Abbess Anastasija and the sisters prepared an agape meal for all present in the trapeza after Divine Liturgy.