His Eminence Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia presented today in Banja Luka a valuable gift, the book of Saint John of Damascus from 1827, to the representatives of the Republika Srpska National and University Library.
After handing over this book, Bishop Jovan told reporters that the library of the Diocese of Pakrac-Slavonia, which represents the most important institution of this type west of the Danube and Drina, at the crossroads of the Balkans and Central Europe, is returning to life in Pakrac.
“This library will be available to everyone. A sign of its renewal and return to life is that one of the 16 copies of `Dogmatics` of Saint John of Damascus, printed in 1837 and translated in 1827, can be found in the Republika Srpska National and University Library”, Bishop Jovan stated.
He pointed out that the Diocese of Pakrac and Slavonia donated this book with great joy, supporting the Republika Srpska National and University Library, which, as he said, should be enriched because it is one of the foundations of education and the foundations of the Srpska in general.
Assistant Minister of Culture of the Republika Srpska Tanja Đaković told reporters that handing over this book to the Republika Srpska National and University Library has a great importance for the culture of the Republika Srpska.
“The Diocese of Pakrac and Slavonia is recognizable by its library and huge cultural and spiritual treasures. It is of great importance that Bishop Jovan decided to cede a part of that cultural treasure to the Republika Srpska, which will enjoy the protection of the state”, Đaković pointed out.
She said that this book is part of the fund of old and rare books already owned by the Republika Srpska National and University Library, expressing confidence that the public in Srpska will be interested in looking at that fund and seeing the invaluable wealth of the cultural heritage of the Serb people.
The director of the Republika Srpska National and University Library Ljilja Petrović Zečević told reporters that this book has an exceptional value of national interest for the Republika Srpska.
“The book is the work of Saint John of Damascus on philosophical and theological writings. It was printed in 1827 in Buda and belongs to the rank of old books”, Zečević pointed out.
She said that, thanks to the gratitude of Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia, this book will become a permanent property of the National and University Library of the Republika Srpska and the fund of old and rare books from today.
“One of the types of protection of this book is its digitalization, which means very fast and efficient access to users and researchers”, Zečević said.
She announced that the National and University Library of Republika Srpska, on December 4, on Saint John of Damascus Day, will present this book through the “Magic Box” application, which gives the user or researcher the opportunity to see the book in physical form but to view and the research will be in digital form.
The ceremony was attended by the Bishop Jovan of Pakrac and Slavonia, Assistant Minister of Culture Tanja Đaković, Director of the National and University Library of Republika Srpska Ljilja Petrovic Zečević, and Director of the Republika Srpska Secretariat for Religions Dragan Davidović.
John of Damascus /676-749/ dealt with law, theology, philosophy, and music, and he also wrote hymns that are still in use in Orthodox monasteries around the world.