Serbian Patriarch Irinej Sunday presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Church of the Russian Orthodox Church’s representation speaking about family as a holy union and about the threats brought about by the modern world to the institution of family.
On July 8, Orthodox Christians of the Slavic world celebrate Sts Peter and Fevronia of Murom, the patron saints of marriage and families.
Since 2008, the feast day of Sts Peter and Fevronia has been observed in Russia as Day of Family, Love and Fidelity.
His Beatitude greeted the worshipers on the occasion of the Day of Ss Peter and Fevronia as ‘intercessors for the sacredness of the Christian marriage’ and reminded the congregation that marriage was established by God immediately after the creation of the world.
At the same time, he said, the Lord gave His blessing upon childbearing and for spouses there is no honour greater than ‘to be God’s co-workers in the creation of life’.
‘However’, he continued, ‘in our time, the family as a holy union is increasingly threatened and ruined under various impacts of the modern world’.
Any deviation from God’s will, he said, and rejection of the family values and childbearing lie in the basis of demographic problems in various European countries, including Serbia.
Speaking about Prince Peter and Princess Fevronia as holy patrons of the Christian family, Patriarch Irenaeus said, ‘the Russian Church has established this great feast. On this day, we should think about the enormous problem of our time, and may we be obedient to the voice of the Church and the Lord’s commandment ‘to be fruitful, and multiply’ and let us glorify God by bearing children’.