75 years since the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia, the great friend of the Russian people

12:32 PM


To All the Reverend Rectors of the Montreal & Canadian Diocese


Your are hereby informed that 10/23 July, the day of the commemoration of the venerable Anthony, wonderworker of the Caves of Kiev, will mark 75 years since the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia, the great friend of the Russian people.

Patriarch Barnabas was born on 29 August 1880, in old Serbia, in the city of Plevl, to a patriarchal and godly family. His secular name was Peter Rosich.

Peter Rosich received his secondary education in the Orthodox theological school in Prizren, and as a talented youth was noticed by Metroopolitan Dionysius of Serbia, who sent him to Russia. There, Peter Rosich received a higher theological education at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.

One must remember that of all the ecclesiastical activists abroad who figured in our Church affairs beyond the borders of our homeland, the most prominent and significant was Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia. He knew Russia well, had mastered the Russian language beautifully, and was full of the desire not only to support the Chrch of Russia in Yugoslavia, but also to unite all the parts of the Church of Russia which were abroad. It was his fondest desire to befriend the Russian ecclesial and social figures and to play a continuing role in Russian life abroad.

As soon as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Anthony, the founder of the Russian Church Abroad, learned of the election of Metropolitan Barnabas of Skople as patriarch, he immediately wrote an article entitled “The New Patriarch of Serbia & the Church’s Expectations for Him”, in which he said:

“The choice of Metropolitan Barnabas as Patriarch of Serbia gives wing, with radiant hope, to the hearts of all in Yugoslavia who are sympathetic to the Orthodox Church. His head and his heart hold good influences for Russia.”

Immediately following his enthronement, Patriarch Barnabas uttered the following words:

“As we celebrating the glory of our Church and our Patriarchate, we are obliged to remember that with us the Church of Russia has also taken part in this today, in the person of His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony, the great theologian. I call upon all present to remember the whole Russian Orthodox people, which is now suffering, being persecuted by the Antichrist, and to pray fervently that the unfortunate Russian Orthodox people may be saved from the great misfortune and great tribulation in which they find themselves.”

On 9/22 July 1930, Patriarch Barnabas served the first divine service in the Russian Church of the Holy Trinity in Belgrade. After the dismissal of the Liturgy, Patriarch Barnabas said: “Beloved brethren, I rejoice that the Lord has today counted me worthy, for the first time as Patriarch, to enter the historic Russian church in Belgrade.… I love you not only as Russian people living within my Patriarchate; I love you even more as representatives of the great Russian people, the bulwarks of the Church Universal, a people who have taken all into your heart, especially the southern Slavs, among them we Serbs.”

Full of strength and energy, Patrirch Barnabas ascended the Patriarchal Throne of Serbia, which he occupied for seven years, reposing under mysterious and murky circumstances, at the age of 57, on the night of 11/24 June 1937, having outlived his teacher and friend, Metropolitan Anthony, for only a year.

In accordance with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops, dated 1/14 June 2012, on Sunday, 22 July, in all the churches of the Russian Church Abroad, this memorable date is to be marked by prayers for the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia, these being preceded by a homily appropriate to the occasion.


Archbishop of Montreal and Canada

16/29 June, 2012