Slava – Celebration of Family Saint Patron’s Day


Commemorative postage stamps

Year of issue: 2023

In stock


The Holy Prophet Elijah

Patron Saint’s Day (Slava) is a holiday dedicated to a Christian saint whom the family takes as its patron and protector. The celebration of the patron saint among Serbs dates back to the time of Saint Sava. Today, the majority of Orthodox believers in the territory of Serbia celebrate the Patron Saint’s Day as a significant holiday in which individual families and their guests participate – extended family members, spiritual relatives, neighbors and friends. As bearers of a unique Orthodox tradition, Serbs perceive Patron Saint’s Day as a way of expressing their Christian and national identity.

Slava is a vital element of the intangible cultural heritage of the Serbian people, and in 2014 it was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Old Testament prophet Elijah, the New Testament saint Saint Ilija, born in the 9th century BC is highly respected as a strict and unwavering preacher of ethical values and is one of the most celebrated saints in Orthodox Christianity. Holy Prophet Elijah, popularly known as Ilija the Thunderer, is commemorated on August 2. Characteristic for the commemoration of this saint is that a large number of customs and folk beliefs related to him originate from pre-Christian times, because Saint Elijah shares many characteristics with the Slavic god Perun, who controlled lightning and thunder.

Stamp motif: Old Testament prophet Elias as a hermit in front of a cave, wrapped in a fur cloak, with a raven bringing him bread, on the stream/Mount Horeb.

Envelope motif: The holy prophet Elijah ascends to heaven in a flaming chariot of bridled fiery horses, defeating death and thus being taken up to heaven alive.

Artistic realisation of the issue: MA Marija Vlahovic, academic graphic artist

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