His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, celebrated Saturday his 66th birthday.
On this occasion, His Grace Varlaam of Ploiesti, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, officiated a Te Deum (Doxology) service as a sign of thanksgiving to God for the bounties poured out upon His Beatitude over time.
The July 22 service was attended by His Grace Timotei of Prahova, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, Archimandrite Paisie Teodorescu, patriarchal vicar, Archimandrite Nectarie Sofelea, exarch of the monasteries of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, and several priests and deacons.
At the end of the ceremony, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel ascribed glory to the Heavenly Father for the blessings received. He noted that life is a gift from God that we should cultivate, multiply and for which we should ask God’s help in order to make it fruitful.
The patriarch stressed that birthdays represent a spiritual stop in order to give thanks to God and to remember respectfully and gratefully those through whom God has worked in our life.
In his speech, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel pointed to the significance of prayer and its role played in maintaining the unity of the Church. Prayer is the strongest spiritual force, he said.
The hierarch prays for the clergy and the people, while the clergy and the faithful are praying for him. The hierarch brings the holy sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, for the health and salvation of the people, while the flock prays for the health and salvation of the hierarch asking God for help in order to keep the true faith and guide on the path of salvation those entrusted to him to be pastored.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church ended his speech by thanking all those who help us through good advice, good work, and fiery prayers addressed to our Saviour Jesus Christ, to the Mother of God and all the Saints.
On His Beatitude’s 66th birthday, Bishop Varlaam presented the patriarch with a basket of flowers and evoked the patriarch’s worthy ministry. His Grace conveyed to Patriarch Daniel best wishes of longevity, good health, joy, courage and much help from God in order to overcome the trials through which the Romanian Church and nation pass.
Congratulatory messages were delivered on behalf of the central and local authorities. Among the attendants, the State Secretary for Religious Affairs, Mr. Victor Opaschi, appreciated the good collaboration between the Church and the State. State Secretary Victor Opaschi appreciated the Patriarch’s “extraordinary gift” of having a solid vision, well-anchored in tradition, and at the same time attentive and receptive to the needs of the present, thus affirming the importance and special role of the Church in society.
Patriarch Daniel was born on 22 July 1951, in the village of Dobresti, Timis County, as the third child of teacher Alexie Ciobotea and his wife Stela.
On 12 September 2007, he was elected Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudja, Locum tenens of the Throne of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. He was enthroned September 30 at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
Photo by Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro