November 13, 2013

President Vujanović at the Ceremony – Bicentennial of Njegoš’s Birth
President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, who is the Chair of the Honorary Committee for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Petar II Petrovic Njegoš delivered a speech tonight at the ceremony, which was organized on the occasion of Bicentennial of Njegoš’s Birth, at the Montenegrin National Theatre in Podgorica .

President’s speech :

Distinguished Citizens of Montenegro,
Prime Minister,
Speaker of the Parliament,
High Dignitaries,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

On this day two centuries ago, Montenegro and humanity welcomed Rade Tomov into this world, whose grandiose work is an enduring value of imperishable glory. The work strongly rooted in our individual and our collective consciousness, an indispensable treasure of our culture.

One could not even conceive back at that time that Montenegro could be the cradle of a Njegoš. Montenegro, the country of honest and brave libertarians, but confined by rigid customs, habits and prejudices that had to be educated, whose feuding tribes and their members had to be conciliated. Whose self-will and pride, in difficult years of scarcity, was supposed to be joined in the pursuit of freedom and illumination.

From the stellar heights that he reached, Njegoš shed a light on the microcosm of darkness of Montenegro. Only spiritually reaching these heights, only in the macrocosm, could he understand that the microcosm of every earthly space and every man is enlightened permanently by the celestial torch which imbues it with essence and changes it. Only from these heights could this planetary giant cast a ray of light onto the future of Montenegro with the libertarianism to which the decades of Njegoš’s reign were dedicated as well as the centuries that followed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Only from the cosmic heights could Njegoš experience the absolute harmony of nature, where everything that perishes enlivens, so that the harmony of nature would gain its balance and immortality. Immortality and beauty that make nature perfect, thus binding a man to aspire to permanent values. Values as a mark of earthly life that a man leaves behind. A trace of life that is the most valuable sense of living the life in Njegoš’s manner – the praiseworthy name, admirable indeed. That is why Njegoš’s thought has its surface and depth, its light and its darkness, testimony of transience and messages of eternity, its contemporary, but equally, its universal character. Those who have not interpreted or explored Njegoš’s messages in depth and universally, were left on the surface, unable of understanding the Njegoš’s modernity, they could not have experienced his grandeur.

Only from cosmos could Njegoš grasp and properly value the importance of human liberty. Liberty, which along with justice, enables an eternal lasting of every man. Understanding the great Njegoš’s truth that " day in day out, married/ each with our anguish / there is no day that we want / nor bliss that we long for." But, equally, no one can take away a man’s faith in a desired day or his longing for bliss. Precisely, because the darkness of a man is illuminated by a cosmic ray giving him faith in eternity and bliss.

This light means freedom and justice, which is inseparable from freedom, according to Njegoš. We cannot be truly fair, if we do not respect the freedom of others and if we do not value the common good. That is why Njegoš confirmed and spiritually affirmed the genius of Emperor Konstantin, who proclaimed in the Edict of Milan the freedom of the Christians and every person to follow a religion he wants without being persecuted, a millennium and a half before Njegoš was born. For seventeen centuries the eternal message of these two great men and visionaries has not lost its topicality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

From the cosmic infinity Njegoš understood that freedom is a necessity in every society. That is why Njegoš, a giant with deep and comprehensive understanding, spirituality and culture was intensely devoted to true friendship with South Slavic and European torch blazers on the path of national freedom.

He joined the movements for liberation of South Slavic territories, and provided strong encouragement. Friendships, deep and sincere, with Vuk Karadžić , Ljudevit Gaj and Ban Jelačić, Jernej Kopitar and Jozef Tominc, posed an energetic and powerful driving force of the South Slavic liberation, and a basis for the creation of a South Slavic state. That is why Njegoš’s mission of liberty, which enabled creation of the South-Slavic state, should be particularly valued and appreciated. The state after whose tragic dissolution, independent states were created, including Montenegro to which Njegoš’s mission gave immeasurable contribution. Strong ties with the Slovak Ljudovit Štur and Czech Dušan Lambl prove that Njegoš was not only on a South-Slavic but also on a European mission and that the Njegoš’s path equals European path.

ThatČs why we were permanently indebted by Njegoš. That is why we must forever be paying our debt to Njegoš. That is why we have to accept the cosmic truths from deep Njegoš’s messages. That is why we must understand that Njegoš has reached a place at the top of Montenegro, which will never be vacated and at which he remains irreplaceable.

May our admiration to Njegoš and eternal Montenegro last forever.

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