His Grace Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti spoke Wednesday about Saint Constantine Brancoveanu, presenting him as a model to those who are confronted with the limitation or prohibition of public manifestation of religion.
The Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch addressed the believers attending the Divine Liturgy at St George the New Church in Bucharest, the last foundation of Ruler Prince Saint Constantine, that if they work in countries of another faith or in corporations where the profession or manifestation of any form of religious life is prohibited that the Brancoveanu Martyrs can be an encouraging example.
‘There are many people who are not allowed to wear a cross around their necks, to place an icon on their desk, to make the sign of the Holy Cross at the beginning of their work or any other time they need help,’ His Grace said August 16.
He said that ‘there are certain pressures from new ideologies so that any Christian testimony be limited and even forbidden.’
‘In this situation, Saint Constantine Brancoveanu’s attitude is very encouraging for us and shows us the way we should behave if we truly desire to save our soul from death and attain to eternal life.’
Bishop Varlaam cited Christ’s words from the daily gospel reading, saying ‘For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it’ (Mark 8:35).
On the feast day of the Holy Brancoveanu Martyrs, the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God from Dintr-un Lemn Monastery was brought to Bucharest and enshrined at St George Church.
Bishop Varlaam explained why this icon was brought to the church founded by St Constantine Brancoveanu on his feast day.
‘Ruler Prince Constantine Brancoveanu and his wife Maria often bowed down before this icon, especially when he supervised the works at his foundation, Hurezi Monastery.’
In addition, the Mother of God worked a miracle through this icon during the martyrdom of the Brancoveanu family.
‘The day Prince Constantine and his sons were beheaded in Istanbul, his successor, Stefan Cantacuzino, was at Dintr-un Lemn Monastery. His wife, attending the Divine Liturgy, saw in this icon the tragedy happening in Istanbul that very moment.’
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, a memorial service was officiated for the rest of the souls of all founders of the church.
Saint George the New Church is the last church founded by the Holy Ruler Prince Constantine Brancoveanu and the only of his foundations in the capital city of Romania.
The holy relics of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu and of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker are enshrined in the church.
Photography courtesy of Raluca Ene / Basilica.ro