Accompanied by Archpriest Arthur Liolin, Chancellor of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese, and many faithful from Boston’s Saint George Cathedral, Her Excellency, Madame Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosova, visited the grave of Archbishop Fan Noli here on the afternoon of Sunday, March 4, 2012.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1908 and consecrated to the episcopacy in 1923, Archbishop Fan was the first Albanian Orthodox bishop in the US. At various points in his life, he had served in a wide variety of religious, political, literary, and diplomatic roles in the US and his homeland. In 1924, he served as prime minister and regent of Albania. Harvard educated, he was well known for his translation of the Divine Liturgy into the Albanian language, as well as for his numerous translations of other religious and liturgical texts. [Historical background may be found in an article on oca.org.]
President Jahjaga placed a wreath on Archbishop Fan’s grave as prayers for his repose were offered.
That morning, President Jahjaga attended the Divine Liturgy marking the Sunday of Orthodoxy at Saint George Cathedral, where she was welcomed by His Grace, Bishop Nikon of Boston and New England and the Albanian Archdiocese.
President Jahjaga is the first woman, first non-partisan, and youngest candidate to be elected to the presidency of Kosova, where all sides suffered during the Balkan wars.
During her US visit, President Jahjaga was received by US President and Mrs. Barack Obama, met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and delivered an address at Columbia University. She also participated in the Women of the World Summit in New York, NY.
A photo gallery of her visit to the cathedral and grave may be found on facebook.