The Huși Diocese announced the falling asleep in the Lord of Archimandrite Mina Dobzeu, a steadfast confessor of faith during communist regime and the priest who baptised the renowned Fr Nicolae Steinhardt.
Fr Mina Dobzeu reposed in the Lord Thursday, June 7, 2018, at 14.55 p.m. at his cell at Sts Peter and Paul Monastery in Huși, reports the website of the Diocese.
Elder Mina Dobzeu was born on 5 November 1921 in Grozești village, Lăpușna county, Bessarabia, the Kingdom of Romania (today, the Republic of Moldova).
He became a novice at Hâncu Monastery at the age of 13. In 1948, he was tonsured a monk at Brădicești Skete and was ordained to the diaconate later the same year. He was ordained a hieromonk in 1955.
During 1948-1949 he was arrested for eleven months for protesting against the removal of religious education from state schools. In 1959 he was expelled from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, he was expelled from the monastery and sentenced to jail for his contrary attitude to Decree 410/1959 on the abolition of monasteries and the reducing of monastic staff.
He was imprisoned at Galați, Jilava, Gherla, and in the Danube Delta Colony.
At the Jilava Prison, on March 15, 1960, Father Mina Dobzeu baptised in the Orthodox Church the great scholar Nicolae Steinhardt, later known as monk Nicolae Delarohia (of Rohia), author of the famous Happiness Diary.
”I was not afraid. I did not give up!
-Archim. Mina Dobzeu
In communist prisons, Fr Mina continued to spread the Orthodox faith without thinking about the risks, teaching his cellmates prayers.
This has often brought him harsh consequences:
I was punished and jailed in a prison called the Black (Cell). I stayed there for a week in isolation. There was no chair, there was plenty of moisture, only water on the ground, the pavement was made of cement, and that is why I was standing all day long. I was given food once a day at nine o’clock in the evening, following which a bed was brought for me, and at 5 in the morning they removed it, Fr Mina remembered.
He left prison in 1964. In 1969 he was called to serve the Church at the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul Monastery in Huși, whose abbot he was between 1978 and 1988.
In 1988, he was again arrested for 8 months for ‘rebellion’ and ‘plot against state security’, namely for 7 letters he addressed Nicolae Ceausescu regarding the morals of the Romanian people and the atheism brought by communism.
After the Husi Diocese was re-established in 1996, he was appointed a cultural and missionary adviser.
In 2017, Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina awarded Fr Mina Dobzeu the Moldavian Cross, the highest distinction of the Metropolis of Moldavia and Bukovina.
Photo: Basilica.ro Archive