Two weeks after it was confirmed he had tested positive for coronavirus, Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church has died, aged 90, from complications related to Covid-19. Irinej tested positive for the coronavirus and was admitted to hospital in Belgrade on November 4. His condition started to get worse on November 15 and he died five days later.
Shortly after the announcement His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia issued a statement. The Crown Prince wrote: “My wife and I received with great sadness the news that His Holiness has fallen asleep in the Lord. All of us have tragically lost our great spiritual leader. His Holiness, our Patriarch Irinej, will be remembered as a great leader and fighter for the Church, the Crown and the Serbian people. We will keep him in our prayers, hearts and memories. I was deeply touched by his faith, as an Orthodox Christian, for the blessings of his paternal advice he gave me, his love for all and for his wisdom. I invite all people to pray together with the Serbian people. All-Merciful Lord Christ to rest His Holiness Patriarch Irinej in the home of the righteous and to give Him the Kingdom of Heaven. Eternal Memory to Him”.
The Serbian Crown Prince and Crown Princess are currently in New York, USA. Nevertheless, they still wanted to honour the Serbian Church’s leader. Therefore, this weekend Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine attended the commemoration for the Blessed Patriarch of Serbi, Mr. Irinej, in the Greek church of St. Eleftherios. The memorial service was officiated by His Grace the Bishop of Eastern America. Due to the reconstruction of the Serbian Cathedral in New York, all Serbian Orthodox services are being held at St Eleftherios Greek Church.
During the service Crown Prince Alexander issued the following statement: “We say goodbye to our Patriarch with great sorrow, blessed that we had him as our Spiritual Father, with the hope of resurrection and encounter in eternity. Eternal memory to him and the Kingdom of Heaven to him”.
Son of the Crown Prince, Prince Phillipe, is currently in Serbia with his wife, Princess Danica, and their son Prince Stefan. They attended the official memorial service for the Patriarch in Belgrade this weekend. The Prince said in a statement: “A hard and gloomy day for our church and our people. Our patriarch was a great man, committed and responsible shepherd, good man and great patriot. In the difficult and turbulent times we live in, Patriarch Irinej showed us the way to peace, justice, and love. Eternal glory and thanks to him”.