This evening, at the St. Sava Academy organized to celebrate 27 January, St. Sava’s Day at the National Theatre in Belgrade, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic emphasized how essential it is to keep the memory of St. Sava alive because we still need his vision as the cornerstone of spiritual, cultural and national progress lighting the way to freedom, enlightenment and prosperity of our people.
“We cannot go wrong if we follow in St. Sava’s footsteps”, said Gojkovic pointing out that when we celebrate St. Sava, we as a people strive for the highest human and civilizational values a community can aspire to.
Gojkovic said that today we celebrate the memory of the Serbian enlightener, the father of Serbia’s statehood and its first Archbishop, in this year marking eight centuries of autonomy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the founder of Serbian diplomacy, literature, law, education and healthcare.
“Realizing the importance of the autonomy of the Serbian state and church for the people and its spiritual, cultural, economic and general progress, St. Sava built the cornerstones we stand on today. The cornerstones of the house that is Serbia”, stressed Gojkovic adding that the celebration of St. Sava’s Day in all of our institutions and schools, and this solemn Academy, are proof that we have returned to the best of our tradition and history which teaches, warns and reminds us how to be better, wiser and united.
That is why the fact they did not wean us off St. Sava’s legacy is essential for the people’s spiritual and general progress.
“Not even when they burned his remains, believing I suppose that it would also burn away all of our ties with him, when he was not talked or only whispered about, even then our people did not forsake its enlightener and founder of the church, knowing by doing so it would renounce the best and noblest of itself”, said Gojkovic.
The Assembly Speaker said that in times of dire strife and trouble, Serbs turned to St. Sava’s teachings hoping to recognize their way of wisdom, love and strength.
Gojkovic said that in these complex times as we again face the storm, it is essential to remain united and help the progress of our country and people as best we can through peace and love, without discord, but through cooperation mindful our citizens’ best interests.
“Today we choose our own future. We have many important tasks – to create a better future for our fellow citizens by pursuing a foreign policy in accordance with our national priorities, maintaining military neutrality and promoting strong and sustainable economic growth”, said the Parliament Speaker.
Gojkovic said that by maintaining peace and stability and taking care of its people, especially in Kosovo-Metohija, Serbia sets the groundwork for overall progress.
Gojkovic went on to say that Serbia will never and can never forget and leave its people in the Republic of Srpska without support and protection and that it would continue to invest into schools, kindergartens, hospitals and factories.
Gojkovic said that the state had invested a lot of effort recently into stabilizing its public finances so as to ensure its future and become economically stronger.
“Now it is our duty to take care of that future, our children and the generations to come. Just like St. Sava realized by travelling the land and enlightening people, there can be no modern and strong Serbia without considerable investments into education”, said Gojkovic.
The National Assembly Speaker said that that is exactly why the authorities are committed to educational reform, because without it Serbia’s rate of development would forever lag behind the developed world.
Gojkovic said that educators should be another focus of attention, those who have the heavy task of shaping the generations who will be building the future of the country, and it is up to the teachers and professors to follow St. Sava’s example and offer the students as much knowledge as they can.
Gojkovic said that as a society, if we follow the path of our enlightener, we will keep to the straight and narrow and not lose our way.