The Feast of Saint Haralambos urges us to enhance our spiritual zeal, His Grace Bishop Timotei said Friday stressing that this Great Martyr is an example in serving the Church unto martyrdom. The Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest addressed the faithful during the Divine Liturgy celebrated on the dedication day of Flămânda Parish in Bucharest, Feb. 10.
Bishop Timotei celebrated the Divine Liturgy and delivered a homily to those present focusing on the life and martyrdom of Saint Haralambos. He also referred to those who professed the faith during communism.
Saint Haralambos went through heavy suffering, Bishop Timotei recalled, because he denied bowing down before gods made by human hand. The Saint kept his faith in Christ strong. He suffered a martyr’s death serving Christ faithfully unto his last breath.
Referring to the saint’s model of following Christ, His Grace said that during the communist regime many Romanian clerics faced the hardships of that grim period but did not deny Christ the Lord.
Many priests preferred to go to prison and stick to Christ’s teachings, His Grace said. The priests accepted imprisonment with humbleness and love for Christ considering this a path to dignity.
Bishop Timotei warned that probably the gravest sin that can be forgiven only through sincere repentance is to betray Christ and our neighbours.
Since the Romanian Patriarchate declared the year 2017 a Commemorative Year of Patriarch Justinian and the defenders of Orthodoxy during communism, His Grace urged us all to remember those who confessed Christ during communism.
After the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Timotei officiated the blessing service at the Orthodox Educational Centre St Haralambos, founded by the parish.
Photo credit: Lumina Newspaper