Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić delivered Christmas greetings to Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović and to all Orthodox Serbs on Monday, Orthodox Christmas Eve. In his Christmas message, the Serbian president’s press service said that President Nikolić wished a most joyous Orthodox holiday in peace and happiness to all Serbian citizens and to all Orthodox believers, saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, citizens of Serbia, Serbs in the diaspora, Christmas is a symbol of joy, unity, peace and gentleness. This is a holiday that brings together the family, sets up strong ties through the force of faith and love, and it brings together all Serbs”. The president wished a happy Christmas to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, going on to say, “Rest assured, we’ll never abandon you, we’ll never turn you over”. He added that this was an obligation and legacy from our ancestors, who gave their lives selflessly in the fight for this spiritual and ideological symbol of the Serb people.
Then, he pointed up, “It’s unimportant that those who spent their whole existence dedicated to materialism, who seek to satisfy their spiritual hunger by amassing wealth, mock our spiritual striving. What matters is that we, who have our essence, origins, and spirituality, persevere on the road of righteously maintaining our identity, origins, and culture”. Nikolić emphasised that this made us who we are… “a brave and just people, special, and noble”. Then, he said, “I wish a merry Christmas to Serbs in the region and Serbs in the diaspora, who know how hard it is to live outside the mother country, and how hard it is to earn your daily bread and prove that you aren’t second-class citizens. Our thoughts and love are with you”, adding that although physically far apart, Serbs would stand together in love and unity on this most joyous Orthodox holiday, saying in conclusion, “Dear brothers and sisters, the challenges ahead are great, but unity is something we should all strive to achieve. We should overcome personal vanities and animosities, and work together because we share the same goal”.
6 January 2014