Patriarch Daniel of Romania lays flowers at tomb of Wallachian Ruler Prince Mircea the Elder

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania visited Friday, Sept. 7, Cozia Monastery where he laid a wreath of flowers at the tomb of the Wallachian Ruler Prince Mircea the Elder marking his 600th death anniversary.

Ruller Prince Mircea the Elder

Mircea the Elder was a ruler prince of Wallachia between 1386 and 1418. He was buried inside the church of his foundation, Cozia Monastery, one of the most valuable monuments of national medieval art and architecture in Romania.

Accompanying the Romanian Patriarch during his visit was the local hierarch, Archbishop Varsanufie of Ramnic.

Patriarch Daniel presenting the abbot of Cozia Monastery with a blessing cross. Credit: Mircea Florescu / Basilica.ro

Unity of faith and nation

At Cozia, His Beatitude spoke about the role played by Romanian Ruler Princes in defending and consolidating the Romanian people’s unity of faith and nation, including through building churches and monasteries.

‘The ruler princes built not only secular fortresses, but also spiritual fortresses for the defence of the identity of faith,’ Patriarch Daniel said Sept. 7 adding that the princes preferred to be buried inside the spiritual fortresses and not inside the military ones.

Defenders of Christianity

‘This shows us that the princes were educated by the Church in the true faith and they had the consciousness that they defended the entire Christianity, not only the territory of Wallachia,’ His Beatitude noted.

Referring to the Romanian ruler princes and recalling Mircea the Elder, St Stephen the Great and Michel the Brave, Patriarch Daniel said ‘they had the conscience of being Christian knights of faith, defenders, athletes of the Christian faith.’

Worship and culture

His Beatitude pointed to their strong national conscience saying that ‘they were not simple military, but were people who much loved piety and the imperishable, eternal beauty.’

‘They were people of worship and culture, a culture resulting from the worship.’

Faithful ruler princes

In addition, His Beatitude said that Cozia Monastery ‘has symbolic value’ and that the old wall of the monastery ‘is permanently struck by the waves of Olt River’ and ‘by the hardships of our existence on these Romanian lands.’

‘Many troubled waves of history have struck and still hit the integrity of the Church, but we learn from the fighting, faithful ruler princes, who built churches and art, that in fact Christ lives more those Christians who strive, struggle, and show their love of Christ not only in good times, but also in times of temptation or persecution.’

During his visit, Patriarch Daniel presented the abbot of Cozia Monastery with a blessing cross and several volumes published by the Romanian Patriarchate for the Monastery’s library.

Photography courtesy of Mircea Florescu/Basilica.ro

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