Jenny Blake has been travelling with us to the Balkans for a number of years, here she encourages us to take “Vidovdan” – in one week’s time on the 28th June – as a day to pray for Serbia…
“28 June is Vidovdan or St Vitus Day. Vidovdan is an important day in the Serbian Orthodox Church calender and Serbian History. The Serbian Orthodox Church remembers Prince Lazar and those who were killed at the Battle of Kosovo by the Turks on 28 June 1389.
“Other significant events in Serbian history have happened on 28 June. For instance on 28 June 1914 Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, in Sarajevo – the event which triggered off the First World War. Princip and the others who were tried after the assassination are remembered on 28 June as visits are made to their memorial in Sarajevo. They hold a small service in memory of the young men. Slobodan Milosevic, in his campaign for power, appealed to Serbs in Kosovo to rise up against the Kosovan Albanians on 28 June 1989, exactly 600 years after the Battle of Kosovo – a significant event in the lead up to the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.
“Yet Vidovdan is also known as a Day of Light as illustrated by some in Sarajevo who on 28 June remember Miss Irby, a lovely Christian lady who left her wealthy background in Britain and devoted her life to founding schools in The Balkans especially for women and refugee children.
“So I think it’s important that Christians set aside this day 28 June – this important day to Serbs – to pray for Serbia, praying that Vidovdan would be a true Day of Light, that many Serbs would come to know Jesus, the Light of the World.”