His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel on Wednesday awarded several famous media personalities and Romanian journalists with the Patriarchate’s 2017 Commemorative Diploma and Medal dedicated to Patriarch Justinian Marina and the defenders of Orthodoxy during communism.
At the end of the awarding ceremony, Patriarch Daniel addressed thanks to those present at the Europa Christiana Hall of the Patriarchal Palace for their actions and encouraged them for the future.
In his speech, His Beatitude referred to true freedom acquired through the presence of the Holy Spirit, invoked in prayer and highlighted through good deeds. The Patriarch said that in times of social freedom we ought ‘to keep the faith and transmit it to future generations because Christ will ask us, what have you done with your freedom?’
The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church cautioned that Christianity is the world’s most persecuted religion.
‘Most persecuted people for faith are Christians, especially in Muslim countries, for whom we must show solidarity in prayer and various concrete ways of support,’ His Beatitude said adding that ‘the restoring of Syrian churches and monasteries represents a priority in the coming years.’
Patriarch Daniel stressed that for the edification of the spiritual church, the help of laypersons is needed.
‘Together with these constructions, let us place a strong emphasis on inner edification: the elevation of Christian life, prayer, and deeds that express the merciful, generous love towards our neighbours. We need the help of the laity who are part of the Christian people. From the missionary cooperation perspective, we believe that every edifying word is a missionary work, whether it is part of a predefined program or a moment’s inspiration for a given context. The work of those who through word and deed show God’s love for the world is great,’ His Beatitude said.
This is the criterion of the last judgment, ‘how much have we loved God in prayer and our fellows in good deeds on this world,’ the patriarch said Jan. 17.
His Beatitude insisted on the love of God and of our neighbor, saying that ‘Christ will suffer until the end of ages, according to every person’s suffering, but He also fills the life of those who suffer and call for God’s help with His holy, sanctifying and salvific presence.’
The patriarch addressed the journalists and thanked both ‘those who host religious programs on a permanent basis, and those who profess the faith in other ways.’
Patriarch Daniel referred to God’s calling and meditated on the ‘two direct interventions of God in history,’ namely St Paul’s conversion and the miraculous appearance of the Holy Cross to St Constantine the Great, which are depicted in the mosaic of the Europa Christiana Hall.
‘We have this consciousness that Christ the Lord who ascended to Heaven is present in history and works whenever He wishes, as he wishes and through the people he chooses. That is why blessed are those who are called to help His Church like St Paul and St Constantine the Great.’
‘It is a great blessing when we are called by Christ to work for the salvation of people. If we do not understand our calling in the beginning, we will understand it as we accomplish it or as we answer to the call by good words and spiritually edifying deeds,’ His Beatitude noted.
At the end of the meeting, the Patriarch conveyed good wishes for the new year saying, ‘we wish you many, blessed years, full of spiritual, missionary fruitfulness, unto God’s glory, the profit of the Church and your personal joy.’
List of persons who received the diploma:
- Teodor Baconschi
- Costion Nicolescu;
- Mihai Coman;
- Sever Voinescu;
- Mihail Neamţu;
- Cristina Andrei;
- Cristina Ionescu;
- Răzvan Bucuroiu;
- Ion Lucian Ciucu;
- Paula Tăbîrcă;
- Anna de Hillerin;
- Andrei-Victor Dochia;
- Corneliu-Vlad Matache;
- Adrian Bodonea-Florea;
- Rafael Udrişte;
- Ciprian Dumea;
- Adriana Ivan;
- Sorin Tudor;
- Bogdan Sterpu;
- Cristi Rădulescu;
- Remus Rădulescu;
- Cristian Curte;
- Pr. Titus Dumitrică;
- Paul Scarlat;
- Cătălin Duţă;
- Izabela Aivăncesei;
- George Grigoriu.
Photography courtesy of Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro