Archimandrite Mina Dobzeu, a Romanian confessor of faith in communist prisons, was laid to rest at the Huși Cathedral Saturday, June 9, 2018.
The hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the funeral service were held earlier at the Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral in Huși.
The services were led by His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina, having as concelebrants Archbishop Teodosie of Tomis, Bishop Ignatie of Huși, Bishop Antonie of Bălți, and the Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuți, Damaschin of Dorna.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the local Bishop Ignatie spoke about Elder Mina, ‘who proved to be a worthy servant of God, an authentic confessor in times of persecution, and a great intercessor in times hostile to our Church.’
‘We have celebrated this Divine Liturgy bearing Father Mina in mind as a guiding lighthouse for many of you who had known him, who came to listen to his edifying word and to strengthen yourselves spiritually.’
‘We give glory to God and ask Him to rest Father Mina in the uncreated light that he loved very, very much,’ Bishop Ignatie said.
Confessor of faith in times of persecution
His Grace Bishop Damaschin of Dorna read out Patriarch Daniel’s message of condolences in which he referred to Archimandrite Mina as a confessor of faith in times of persecution and a teacher of prayer.
‘We pray to the Most Compassionate God to place the soul of his servant, Archimandrite Mina, in the choir of the venerable confessors.’
‘To His Grace Bishop Ignatie of Husi, to the monastic community of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul Monastery in Husi, as well to all those who have known and loved him, we convey words of compassion and blessing in the steadfast hope of the Universal Resurrection, of the light and peace in the Kingdom of the All Holy Trinity,’ Patriarch Daniel’s message reads.
Following the religious service, Archimandrite Mina Dobzeu was laid to rest in a grave close to the Cathedral.
Archimandrite Mina – Biography
Archimandrite Mina (Dobzeu) reposed in the Lord Thursday, June 7, at 2:55 PM in his cell at Sts. Peter and Paul Monastery in Huși in north-eastern Romania, near the border with Moldova.
Elder Mina was born on November 5, 1921 in Grozești village, Bessarabia, which is today located in the Republic of Moldova.
He became a novice at Hâncu Monastery at the age of 13 in 1934, where he remained until 1938. He was then sent to Căldăruşani Monastery for two years of apprenticeship in Church sculpture. He returned home in 1940 to find it destroyed by the soviet occupation. He later fought in the Romanian army on the front in Timisoara and then in Hungary.
After the war, he attended a choral school for 4 years, then the Neamț Monastery theological seminary for 5 years, and the Faculty of Theology in Bucharest for 4 years.
He was tonsured into monasticism at Brădicești Skete in 1946 and ordained as a hierodeacon in 1948. He was ordained a hieromonk in 1955.
He was arrested for 11 months in 1948-1949 for protesting the removal of religious education from state schools.
A decade later he was kicked out of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, was expelled from his monastery, and was arrested for opposing the abolition of monasteries.
He was imprisoned at Galați, Jilava, Gherla, and in the Danube Delta Colony, where he continued to fearlessly preach the Orthodox faith, suffering greatly for his faith.
“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 was released from prison in 1964 and moved to Sts. Peter and Paul Monastery in Huși in 1969, where he served as abbot from 1978 to 1988. In 1971, he completed his degree in theology in Bucharest.
He spent another 8 months in jail in 1988 for letters who wrote to Nicolae Ceausescu regarding communist atheism and Romanian morality.
He was appointed as a cultural missionary adviser to the newly-re-established Huși Diocese in 1996.
In 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina awarded Fr Mina Dobzeu the Moldavian Cross, the highest distinction of the Metropolis of Moldavia and Bukovina, during the Divine Liturgy on St. Paraskeva’s day (Oct. 14) in Iași.