Bishop Varlaam at Radu Voda Monastery: It is possible to love our enemies. St Nectarios demonstrates it

“Loving our enemies, at least tolerating them, is possible,” the patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiești said on Wednesday at Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest.

“This is what Saint Nectarios shows us about those who persecuted him, reviled him and lied by spreading a great deal of slander against him, for which reason God made him worthy of the gift of working miracles and elevated him to the glory and honour of Saints,” the patriarchal auxiliary bishop said during the Divine Liturgy on the feast day of Saint Nectarios of Aegina.

Several people slandered Saint Nectarios, saying that he was plotting to take the place of the Patriarch of Alexandria, and this led to his release from the dignity of metropolitan on May 3, 1890.

Bishop Varlaam went on to explain that Saint Nectarios was granted the ability to work miracles during his lifetime because of his tremendous faith and devotion, his labours, and the patience he exhibited even when he was tried by human wickedness, many of whom were close persons or so-called friends.

“The inhabitants of the island of Aegina remembered that due to the prayers of the hierarch, the rain came on time, and the locusts that attacked the peasants’ crops were driven away. Also, during his lifetime, Saint Nectarios healed many sick people, especially cancer patients, although his death was caused by this terrible disease.”

“Behold, by the work of God, he became a great thaumaturgist, a great healer of diseases and, above all, a great comforter and healer of those who are faced with this terrible disease.”

“Many Christians who come to Radu Vodă Monastery to venerate the relics of Saint Nectarios personally experienced his benefactions. Moreover, the ministering priests here know many sick people for whom medicine has given them no chance. However, thanks to the prayers and the wonderful work of Saint Nectarios, they are still alive today after many years of facing cancer.”

“Today’s celebration also urges us, in a world where there is a lot of hatred, a lot of division and a lot of fear and concern is sown, to have the love, patience, tolerance and hope that shone as virtues in the soul of the Holy Hierarch Nectarios,” bishop Varlaam urged ending his sermon.

Thousands of believers gathered at Bucharest’s Radu Vodă Monastery to venerate the relics of Saints Nectarios of Aegina and Ephraim of Nea Makri.

Photography courtesy of / Raluca Emanuela Ene

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