Bp Varlaam: The Patriarch of Romania inherited qualities of the three Saints Daniel. May God grant him their longevity

On the occasion of Patriarch Daniel’s name day, an anniversary ceremony was held in the Patriarchal Cathedral on Sunday.

The patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiești said that the Holy Prophet Daniel (Dec. 17) is the spiritual patron of the Patriarch of Romania. Still, His Beatitude also honours Saints Daniel the Stylite (Dec. 11) and Daniel the Hermit (Dec. 18).

After briefly presenting the histories of the three saints Daniel honoured in December, Bp Varlaam highlighted how some of these characteristics were apparent in the life and activity of Patriarch Daniel.

“His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel inherited the wisdom that made the Prophet Daniel famous in the Babylonian captivity, the wisdom that the Venerable Daniel the Stylite was able to advise several Byzantine emperors and patriarchs of Constantinople, and the wisdom and foresight of St. Daniel the Hermit who encouraged the Holy Ruler Prince of Moldavia, Stephen the Great, in moments of great difficulty.”

“Patriarch Daniel also received the gift of preaching and defending the faith in a period quite hostile to it, just as the Prophet Daniel defended the faith he received from his parents while in captivity in a pagan country.”

“The Venerable Daniel the Stylite was a great defender of the right faith against monotheletism, having a dispute with the usurping Emperor Zeno, who was a follower of this heresy. And Saint Daniel the Hermit encouraged Saint Stephen the Great to fight to the end to save Romanian Christianity from Ottoman domination.”

“All three saints mentioned had an extraordinary role in the relationship of faith with secular, worldly power. Like them, Patriarch Daniel also succeeded in restoring the prestige and dignity of our national Church, which was seriously damaged during the period of atheistic communist ideology,” bishop Varlaam said on Dec. 18.

“That is why today’s feast, as well as yesterday’s and that of Dec. 11, are moments of joy for all Romanian Orthodox Christians, but especially for the collaborators of His Beatitude the Patriarch, who know closely the similar labours of the three Saints, labours that rise to the strictness of the labours of Saint Daniel the Stylite who for 33 years sat on a pillar.”

“His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, for 33 years, as Metropolitan and Patriarch, has watched over the destiny of our Church and this period is extraordinary. The achievements can be seen everywhere here, in Bucharest, and throughout the country.”

“Another common characteristic of the three saints was longevity. The Prophet Daniel lived to be one hundred years old, Daniel the Stylite almost ninety, and Daniel the Hermit finally accepted an ecclesiastical dignity in 1488 by becoming the abbot of Voroneț Monastery at the age of more than eighty. As the icon on the outer walls of Voronet shows, he was old, with long white hair, which shows that he, too, had almost reached the age of a centenarian.”

“Therefore, on this anniversary, we wish His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel that in addition to the gifts he has received – prophetism, wisdom, zeal for the House of God, zeal for the defence of the right faith – may God add to him this gift of the age of one hundred to the glory of God and for the joy of the children of our Church.”

At the end, Patriarch Daniel received flowers from the priests of the Patriarchal Cathedral.
On Sunday, Dec. 18, Patriarch Daniel presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral. Concelebrants included Bishop Ieronim of Dacia Felix and his patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti.

Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu

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