A mass of Romanian Orthodox faithful took to the streets, or rather, the dirt roads of the eastern Romanian village of Ion Creangă on Sunday, March 31, processing in honour of the Holy Cross of our Lord and in defense of the right to life.
The crowd, about 1,000 strong, made its way up Muncelu Hill in the “Road of the Cross” procession, carrying a number of crosses and icon banners, chanting Lenten hymns, and stopping at each of the 14 Maramureş-style crosses erected along the way, reports the Archdiocese of Roman and Bacau.
Among the pilgrims were a number of members of ATOR, the Romanian Orthodox Youth Association, who carried banners and wore t-shirts with pro-life messages, promoting the sacredness of life and the right to life of the unborn.
The procession began at the base of Muncelu Hill, where a number of priests of the local archdiocese served a moleben for the blessing of water to begin the holy march.
After about an hour, the clergy and faithful reached the top of the hill, where a cross stands, watching over the surrounding hills.
They were met and greeted at the top of the hill by His Eminence Archbishop Ioachim of Roman and Bacau, who addressed the pilgrims about the Christian’s personal cross and its meaning within the sacrifice of Christ.
“Today is a great joy, especially for those who have climbed this Golgotha… The symbol of the Cross is deep, and each of us carries the Cross in his soul. Who does not have a cross to bear in this life? Everyone has their cross… The Cross has power only if it comes from Jesus Christ Who crucified Himself and is the only one Who died in love,” the Archbishop said.
“Christ, having no sin, died loving us and His open arms on the cross encompass all of humanity,” Abp. Ioachim noted.
He also specifically addressed the youth present, saying: “Let us praise God because we have the gift of life. What is more valuable in this world than the gift of life? That is why I admire the young people who went on this Road of the Cross, which was also a march for life.”
The procession ended with the faithful enjoying a meal provided by the Archdiocese’s Bethlehem Bakery.
Tr by Orthochristian
Photography courtesy of the Roman & Bacau Archdiocese