Celebration of Saint John Vladimiri in Elbasan



     On June 4th in the monastery of Saint John Vladimir, near Elbasan, hundredreds of believers were gathered to participate in the celebration of the feast day of the saint honoring and praying to him to intercede for the salvation of the souls of Gods people.


Believers from different cities came the day before to take part in the traditional services.  An atmosphere of celebration was created from the early hours of June 3rd.  Many believers stayed inside the church and around the monastery holding candles and praying.  Twenty five believers, 5 of which were clerics, came from Montenegro to join the celebration. The ringing of bells announced the start of the vigil which began at 21:00 and lasted until 03:00 am. The vigil commenced with the Small Compline Service and then continued with the Vesper Service, the Blessing of 5 Breads, Morning prayers (Orthros) and finished with the Divine Liturgy. 


In the presence of the saint's relics and hundreds of believers, the services were led by Bishop Ilia Katri, director of the Theological Academy. Co-celebrating was Protopresbyter Father Jani Trebicka, Father Gjerasim akalli, Father Aleksandr Lushi, Father Emanuel Lusha and the Deacons Dhimitr Prifti and Mihal Prifti. Three clerics from Montenegro also took part in the Divine Liturgy. The choir of the Theological Academy created a prayerful atmosphere.

     Many believers came to venerate the saint's relics on the following morning. On the morning of this day another liturgy was led by father Gjergji Trebicka, Father Stavri ipi, Father Pavli Qosja, Father Jani Ranxha and Father Petraq Dedja.


  This feast has become very popular not only for the Orthodox believers, but also for the surrounding area which declared it a festive day for the community of Baradashesh.  The place was decorated with banners which initiated the beginning of the fair.  Also this year, the reconstruction of the main road from the national road to the monastery was finished. The community organized an artistic program for this feast following the Divine Liturgy.






Isidor Koti and Harallamb Meci

Translated by Sonila Dedja