After hundreds of faithful venerated the saints martyrs Saturday, on their celebration day, at the only church founded by Prince Constantine Brancoveanu in Bucharest, “Saint George the New” church, this Sunday, faithful, pilgrims and tourists attended the commemorative events organised at the church in the precincts of the “Brancovean Palaces” Cultural Centre of Mogosoaia.
Blessing for the faithful of Mogosoaia
The manifestations began at dawn, when the relics of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu were brought from “Saint George the New” church. The shrine was brought in procession, in a carriage pulled by horses, up to the church close to the walls of the ensemble, which is a Brancovean foundation dating as far as the 17th century. His Eminence Varsanufie, Archbishop of Ramnic, was in the middle of the faithful and priests of the deaneries Ilfov North and Ilfov South and of the concelebrant priests of Districts 1 and 6 who met the holy relics. After surrounding the place of worship, the shrine was laid for veneration in the yard of the palace. Then, His Eminence Archbishop Varsanufie celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the scene set up here. Several hierarchs of our Church concelebrated.
Blessing of the church painting at Mogosoaia
To end with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Varsanufie, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel blessed the painting restored of the “Saint George” church, known in the past as the “church in the meadow”. The celebrating group also included the foreign hierarchs present these days in Bucharest, delegates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and of the Patriarchate of Georgia.
In the sermon delivered the Patriarch of Romania evoked the devotion of prince Constantine Brancoveanu and of his family.
“This church has a symbolic value, because it was here that prince Constantine Brancoveanu often came to get out of the turmoil of Bucharest, to rest, pray, meditate and receive his most important counsellors and consult with them. Saint Martyr Constantine Brancoveanu wanted to give this palace to his son Stefan who was a cultivated man, spoke Greek and Latin very well, read a lot and had special inclination for the lives of the saints. He wrote the praise of Saint Great Martyr George, and a praising sermon at the feast of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God. This concern of prince Stefan, son of Constantine Brancoveanu, for martyrs and for the Mother of God stemmed from a special devotion and love which was, without his knowing, a mysterious preparation for his martyrdom which occurred in Constantinople, on the day of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God”, His Beatitude said.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has also spoken to the faithful present about the history of the place of worship and about its symbolic value.
“The martyrdom theme is prevailing in the painting of Mogosoaia, just like the veneration of the Mother of God, through an iconographic wealth which enriches the ordinary iconography of a church. There is a huge theological spiritual wealth in the painting theme and in the aspects pointed out when executed. Thus, the church painting is a taking over and emphasising of the Byzantine traditional painting. But the palace has elements of the Florentine Renaissance too, so that the synthesis between the artistic elements of the Orient and of the Italian Renaissance can be seen at Mogosoaia. Saint Prince Constantine Brancoveanu made the passage from the Middle Ages to Modern times.
On the occasion of the blessing of the church painting the place of worship was dedicated to the Brancovean Saints Martyrs.
Gratitude to those who supported the church of Mogosoaia
The painting of “Saint George” church was restored with the support of the community, as well as of the authorities. The Patriarch of Romania offered distinctions and gifts to the benefactors of the place of worship as a sign of gratitude. The Order of the “Brancovean Saints Martyrs” for clergy and laics was awarded to the following persons: Archimandrite Veniamin Goreanu, church-administrative counsellor to the Archdiocese of Bucharest; Marian Petrache, president of Ilfov County Council; Precup Paul Mihai Micu, mayor of Mogosoaia commune and the homage diploma of the “Brancovean Saints Martyrs”; Archdeacon Aurel Vlaicu, counsellor for the Department for Church Monuments and Constructions, Archdiocese of Bucharest; Archpriest Ilfov North, Cristian Burcea; Staicu Mihail George, public administrator of Mogosoaia commune; Dan Ioan Pechi; Romeo Andronic, painter restorer; Doina Mandru, artistic director of the “Brancovean Palaces” Cultural Centre, Mogosoaia; Ortanta Ionescu. Rev Ion Vrajitoru, parish priest of the church in the precincts of the “Brancovean Palaces” was awarded the title of iconom stavrofor. His Beatitude has also offered the church a blessing cross, several books of rite, and an icon of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu with a particle of the relics of the martyr prince.
“We thank Your Beatitude for the permanent care and support given for finishing these restoration works, as well as the local authorities who understood the importance of this historical monument which is the church of the Palace of Saint Prince Constantine Brancoveanu. Although built as chapel of Brancoveanu family, the church has served the community of Mogosoaia for over 300 years”, parish priest Ion Vrajitoru said.
The mayor of Mogosoaia commune, Paul Mihai Precup, has also delivered a thanksgiving speech and awarded the title of citizen of honour of the commune to the Patriarch of Romania.
Launching of the monograph of the church of Mogosoaia
Then, the monograph of “Saint George” church was launched. The book appeared at the “Cuvantul vietii” publishing house of the Metropolitanate of Muntenia and Dobrudgea.
“This book published by “Cuvantul vietii” publishing house of the Metropolitanate of Muntenia and Dobdrugea emphasises the original aspects of the iconographic programme of this church. This book also marks the important stage of the restoration of the painting just finished and presents the more important stages of the restoration of this church”, Archdeacon Counsellor Aurel Vlaicu from the Department for Church Monuments and Constructions, Archdiocese of Bucharest, explained.
The historical cultural touristic and entertaining monumental ensemble of Mogosoaia which also includes “Saint George” church represents one of the most attractive places due to the outstanding architectural patrimony situated in the picturesque natural scenery close to Bucharest.
To end with, His Beatitude and the other guests visited the “View Power” exhibition of painter and restorer Elena Murariu. The exhibition displays over 200 works of graphics and wood painting. The exhibits show the iconographic programme of the Brancovean Saints starting from their lives, Brancovean art and tradition of the Romanian space.