Banjaluka newsagents have recently been offering a picture album “Saint Sava – life and work” which caught great attention of the students.
According to the sellers, packets with pictures that cost BAM 1 are selling fast, and, apart from elementary and high school students, parents also buy them for children.
Sports journalist from Banjaluka Bojan Jakovljević, who has been collecting stickers since elementary school, told SRNA that the “Saint Sava” album was new in this regard, although football was and remained the center of attention, given that most collectors were focused on collecting stickers from the World and European Championships, the Champions League, the NBA basketball league…
“Recently, we see that the offer is expanding. In addition to ‘Animal Kingdom’, we also had ‘Countries and Flags’, then various stickers that accompany cartoons… And now we have also received this album dedicated to Saint Sava. There is no doubt that will be the most interesting among students, but there will probably also be older collectors who will try to fill this album,” said Jakovljević.
Archpriest-Stavrophor Darko Đogo, a professor at the Faculty of Theology “St. Vasilije Ostroški” in Foča, told SRNA that this was obviously a commercial product with solid aesthetic qualities, completely in line with market requirements.
When it comes to the production of such content, Đogo added, one should keep in mind that there is often a fine line between the justified popularization of the most significant figure in Serbian history /and not only the church’s/ and the commercialization and profaneness of the Saint.
“As long as the content does not attempt to replace, push out or misinterpret the image of St. Sava at the expense of some ideology or commercial success, such attempts can be educationally interesting and successful,” Đogo assessed.
The author of the texts, Milan Vidojević, has stated in the album that Rastko Nemanjić is the most important person of the Nemanjić dynasty, the greatest spiritual teacher of the Serbian people, diplomat, self-sacrificing son, founder of monasteries and churches, educator, reconciler of brothers, writer of monastic typics, founder of the Serbian state and the Church, a saint.
He asked himself – how to fit all of the above into 35 years of life, from monastic austerity to repose?
“How to explain the desire and vital energy to tirelessly travel to Raška, Byzantium, the Holy Land, Antioch, Bulgaria… To teach oneself and others to love humanity, to collect and bring the relics of saints, to bring Heavenly Serbia down to Earthly Serbia, to make the people pious in that way and become the foundation of Serbia, which even nowadays carries everything that makes today’s Serbia,” Vidojević noted.
He also asked if the Serbs could follow that example, even if to a lesser extent.
“The first step is to respect and have memory of the great teacher, the desire to preserve what he did and to improve what we will ensure the future of the Serbian people and Serbia on. Our album is a modest contribution to that thought,” Vidojević concluded.
The album with stickers of “Saint Sava – life and work” is full of historical information about Sava and Nemanjići, their endowments, Mount Athos, the Hilandar and the like.
It was printed in 100,000 copies, and the publisher is “Tara 2016 S” from Belgrade.
Photo: srna.rs/Bojan Rečević