Abbot Prodromos of Great Lavra and Abbot Athanasios of the Prodromos Skete on Mount Athos celebrated Thursday the Divine Liturgy at the patronal feast of the National Cathedral’s Chapel in Bucharest in honour of the Prodromitissa Icon of the Mother of God.
The Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Grace Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti, patriarchal auxiliary bishop and secretary of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
In his homily, Bishop Varlaam noted that the progress of the construction of the National Cathedral in Bucharest is due to the help offered by the Mother of God through her wondrous icon called Prodromitissa, a replica of which is enshrined at the Chapel near the construction site.
‘This edifice is the proof of the miraculous work of the wonderworking icon,’ His Grace said July 12, 2018.
The Mother of God is the mother of all Christians
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Elder Prodromos addressed the believers saying that the presence of the Prodromitissa Icon of the Mother of God at the Chapel is a great blessing, especially ‘taking into account that the Mother of God is the mother of all Christians, a fervent intercessor for us to her Son.’
The Abbot of the Great Lavra said that the Theotokos protects and takes care of those who have helped and are still supporting the construction of the National Cathedral.
‘We are certain that the Mother of God, through her icon the Prodromitissa, prays not only for the worshipers at this chapel, but also for the founders of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral, that is all those who financially and voluntarily support the conclusion of the works of the National Cathedral as soon as possible to the glory of God,’ Elder Prodromos noted.
The challenges of the world are aimed at destroying the unity of the Church
Finally, abbot Athanasios of Prodromos Skete urged for prayer and unity among believers.
‘Let us be vigilant with faith and prayer; and especially with patience and humility, holding firmly the truth in the face of the apocalyptic course that flows before us, and especially in the bosom of the Church, and not outside the Church, together struggling and together watching, the lesser and the greater, patriarchs, bishops, priests, and believers, all of us who are marked with the sign of the Holy Baptism in the name of the Trinity one in essence and undivided, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’
The abbot of the Athonite Hermitage of St John the Forerunner pointed to ‘the challenges that the world and the Church are facing today that are aimed at destroying the unity of the Church in order to mix the truth with lie on the one hand, and sin with virtue on the other hand, that is the Law with iniquity, thus sowing bewilderment through which many may fall into deception and then in unbelief.’
Following the Divine Liturgy, a Trisagion service was held to commemorate Romania’s national heroes.
The National Cathedral that is under construction in Bucharest was a project initiated by the first Romanian King Carol who wanted to build a memorial church in honour of all heroes who sacrificed their lives for the national independence and unity.
Photography courtesy of Raluca Ene/Basilica.ro