The two chambers of the Romanian Parliament, namely the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, met on Monday, December 11, to commemorate Romania’s late King Michael I, who passed away to the Lord on December 5 at the age of 96.
The solemn meeting of the joint plenum of the House and the Senate, dedicated to paying homage to King Michael, started with the national anthem and a moment of silence. Chairing the meeting was Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
Attendees included Princess Margareta, President Klaus Iohannis, Patriarch Daniel, PM Mihai Tudose, as well as parliamentarians and ministers from the Republic of Moldova.
During his speech, President Iohannis said that, during his exile, “the king symbolized the hope of a reborn and free Romania, to which the Romanians did not cease to aspire.”
“Although he reigned more than 70 years ago, his principles do not belong to the past, but on the contrary, they are more current than ever. Michael I was a constitutional monarch who defended the rule of law, individual rights, and freedoms, who has fought for solid institutions and for the rules to be sustainable, assumed and respected,” the President said on Monday.
“King Michael I will forever remain in the memory of the Romanian people as a great statesman,” the head of state noted in the plenary session of the two chambers of Parliament.
“May the memory of King Michael forever remain in our hearts!” the president said concluding his speech.
The Custodian of the Crown of Romania, Princess Margareta stated that she will carry on serving Romania’s fundamental interests and will dedicate her work to Romanians in all corners of the world.
Princess Margareta said that “the world’s countries need to better acknowledge what Romania has achieved in the past 150 years as a modern state, what it has accomplished in the century passed from the Great Union and what it has built since the downfall of communism.” “Looking back, we can be proud of our nation’s progress,” she added.
During the joint meeting, Patriarch Daniel noted that the abdication and the forced departure of King Michael from the country was a hard blow not only for Romania but also for the Church and that the king will always be “in the memory of the Romanian nation a torch of resurrection in difficult times.”
“Today, we render homage to the luminous personality of His Majesty, King Michael I of Romania, for the great virtues that guided him throughout his life, namely: the faith in God, the love for the Romanian nation, the endurance in suffering, the dignity in his behaviour and the power to forgive hostile people. Being a great historical personality of his century, a monarch, Marshal of Romania, a veteran of World War II, a hero in the act of August 23, 1944, King Michael I of Romania was also a steady believer of the Romanian Orthodox Church. A man with a strong faith, which he never was embarrassed to profess publically, living according to the guiding principle of the Romanian Monarchy, Nihil Sine Deo, Nothing without God,” Patriarch Daniel said Dec. 11.
His Beatitude Daniel also noted that King Michael I’s abdication and departure meant a blow not only to Romania but also to the Romanian Orthodox Church, through the persecutions to which it was subject due to the communist regime.
“The forced abdication act of December 30, 1947, and King Michael I’s departure from Romania into a long and unfair exile were a hard blow to Romania and also to the Church, because in the following years the communist regime started a cruel period of persecution against the Church, against those who showed loyalty or admiration towards the monarchy. Despite the policy to erase all traces reminding of the monarchy’s contribution to Romania’s progress, the Church found smart solutions to save the inscriptions in which the King’s name was mentioned,” His Beatitude said.
Patriarch Daniel also pointed to the King’s contribution to Romania’s accession to EU and NATO.
“King Michael I of Romania has intensely militated and helped to Romania’s accession to NATO and the EU because he highly appreciated freedom and democracy. After achieving these goals, he urged the Romanian Parliament to cultivate national identity and dignity, values that King Michael professed through his personal example during his entire life. Through his personality, his life and work, King Michael I will always remain in the memory of the Romanian nation a torch of resurrection in difficult times,” the Patriarch concluded.
King Michael, Romania’s last sovereign, died last week at his private residence in Switzerland, after a long illness. His body will be brought to the Peles Castle in Sinaia, Romania, on December 13, and then moved to the former Royal Palace in Bucharest. On Saturday, December 16, the Royal Train will carry the king’s casket to Curtea de Arges, where he will be buried next to his wife, Queen Anne, who died in August last year. Prince Charles of Britain will attend the funeral in Romania.
Photo courtesy of Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro