Hundreds of people from Bucharest and all across Romania flocked to Radu Voda Monastery to venerate the holy relics of Saint Nectarios of Aegina during a three-day celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the Saint’s blessed repose in the Lord.
During the festive Divine Liturgy celebrated on St Nectarios’ feast day, Nov. 9, the assistant bishop of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, Timotei of Prahova, called Saint Nectarios ‘the travelling and wandering hierarch’ who suffered greatly from the envy and slander of those he considered friends.
Bishop Timotei listed several miraculous healings made by the Thaumaturge (Wonderworking Saint) and offered some insights into the history of the brotherhood he founded in Greece and which later turned into a female monastic community.
Bishop Timotei pointed out that the saint is much loved by the Greeks, but not only.
“One of the most beautiful Orthodox churches in the world has recently been built on the island of Aegina, where there are only a few thousand people. An island with a few people, of course, helped by believers from all over the world, they managed to build a beautiful cathedral. Why would we be against the saints? Why do we always like to be challengers? Why do we only have words full of venom? Why have our hearts changed so much? Because we no longer look to God and the saints well pleased by Him.”
“Saint Nectarios urges us all, those who do not honour him, but also those who come and ask for his help to put their hope in God because the only true friendship is friendship with Him. He teaches us from the experience of his life that people, even when they smile at you, can change their attitude. And if someone is your friend today, tomorrow they might drive you away, make you a traveller, and forget their first love. But God and His saints do not behave in the same way.”
More children named after Saint Nectarios
The devotion to Saint Nectarios, canonized in 1961, is also spreading among Romanians, said the Assistant Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
“I am happy to meet more and more children – I discovered some of them at Holy Communion – with the name ‘Nectarios’ or ‘Nectaria’. In general, it is a monastic name, which the monks take, as is the abbot of this holy monastery.”
“I noticed that lately there are a lot of children with this name. Why? Because many of their parents could not have children, and they prayed to Saint Nectarios and he helped them.”
“We ask him to help us. May he be an intercessor before God and the protector of us all,” the hierarch Nov. 9.
At the end of his speech, Bishop Timotei of Prahova congratulated the monastic community for organizing the patronal feast in safe conditions and thanked the faithful for their patience and for observing the necessary rules on hygiene and social distancing. The hierarch wished good luck and offered flowers to the abbot, Archimandrite Nectarie Șofelea.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene
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