The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America sponsored a special commemoration of Vidovdan and Kosovo Charity Banquet at the St. Sava Church of San Gabriel, held on Saturday, June 21, 2008.
His Grace Serbian Bishop Dr. Maxim hosted his brothers in Christ, His Grace Antiochian Bishop Joseph, His Grace Bishop Longin of Gracanica Metropolitan, and His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan and Abbot of Decani Monastery. Bishop Teodosije was also the main guest- speaker.
The second guest-speaker at this event was an author and a political analyst, Dr. Serge Trifkovic.
The program included special performances by St. Sava Church Choir, Oksama Germain-piano, Kaija Germain-violin, actress Zeljka Gortinski, Kolo Group “Kalemegdan”, and Zoran Kalezic, popular folk singer with his orchestra.
The event was very successful and the St. Sava Church and Western-American Diocese made a net profit of over $30,000 for Kosovo Charity.
What is Vidovdan and why was the Kosovo Charity Banquet held?
The name Vidodan derives from St. Vitus Day, a saint marked on the Orthodox calendar June 28, 1389, when the battle of Kosovo against the Turkish army was fought. Because of the loss, a perished army, and the death of prince Lazar, historical development of the medieval Serbian state was brought to an end. The Nemanjic period of glory and greatness was replaced by another page of Serbian history that marks the years and centuries of post-Kosovo’s suffering.
Vidovdan, however, does not represent just the Kosovo battle preserved in Serbian national memory. It is rather a word of much deeper and symbolic meaning. It pertains more to a spiritual realm and to what happened after the battle of Kosovo. Prince Lazar’s decision to defend the state and to stand up against a much stronger Turkish army, was depicted by national poets in Kosovo folk epics to be prince Lazar’s choice for the Heavenly Kingdom over the Earthly one. Vidovdan, therefore, has become one great moral lesson that shaped the culture of the Serbian people throughout the centuries. Being such a moral force, it is a great contribution to all peoples.
By organizing The Kosovo Charity Banquet we want to show our support and solidarity with our brothers and sisters, in the once again occupied Kosovo. Our moral and financial support for our churches, monasteries and refugees, as well as for the Serbian people that still live in Kosovo, show that we are deeply conscious of the cradle of our heritage.
Kosovo that belongs to the Earthly Kingdom, may look at the present time not to be ours and free, but we all know just as prince Lazar knew, that spiritual Kosovo will be always ours and free in the realm of the Heavenly Kingdom.
By Fr. Petar Jovanovic
His Grace Bishop Teodosije
His Grace Bishop Teodosije 2
His Grace Bishop Longin
His Grace Bishop Joseph