Sunday, 14 May 2017, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated at Putna Monastery the official ceremony of canonization of the four Putna Saints: Metropolitan Jacob of Putna, and the Venerable Fathers Silas, Paisios and Nathan.
The ceremony was held after the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Patriarch of Romania in the presence of the concelebrating hierarchs and clergy. Also in attendance were several central and local officials, as well as thousands of pilgrims from all across the country.
Patriarch Daniel addressed those present explaining the difference between the decision of the Holy Synod to glorify worthy servants of God and the official ceremony of canonization. He said that the proclamation of the canonization of Saints means to inform publicly the faithful about the Synodal decision of glorification.
His Grace Bishop Corneliu of Huși read out the Synodal Tomos of canonization for Metropolitan Saint Jacob of Putna.
This lover of Christ-God, Saint Jacob of Putna, laborer in the glorious Monastery of Putna, foundation of the Holy Ruler Prince Stephen the Great of Moldova, has become remarkable through devoutness and wisdom, being a good teacher and spiritual father, a great founder and tireless shepherd of the Christian community, he was very attentive to the social and economic problems of the country.
Next, His Grace Bishop Justin of Maramureș and Sătmar read out the Synodal Tomos of canonization for the Holy Venerable Fathers Silas, Paisios and Nathan.
They have received from God the gift of prayer and of spiritual guidance, being valued in the devoutness of hierarchs, priests, monastics and believers as examples of fiery prayer, humility, abstinence, charity and wise spiritual guidance.
In his homily addressed to the thousands gathered, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church spoke of St. Jacob as a “hierarch of pure and holy life, a defender of the true faith, devout and wise,” recounting the great works of his holy life, and how he spiritually and materially strengthened Putna Monastery.
He also spoke about the Venerable Fathers Silas, Paisios, and Nathan, as “friends of God” who were “driven by their burning love for God, being lovers of silence and much prayer, toiling for the beauty of the House of the Lord.”
Speaking of the vital role that the Saints play in the daily lives of Orthodox faithful, His Beatitude recalled the sufferings that the Romanian Church has faced over the past century, and which it is facing today:
The Saints pray in Heaven in all times and places, but the saints of our nation especially helped us through the great and painful test of fidelity or faithfulness to Christ, namely, the persecution of the communist regime. However, after many sufferings and humiliations, with the help of the most Holy Trinity, of the Theotokos and of all the saints, the majority of the Romanian people remained faithful to Christ.
He said that today we have great need of the prayers of the saints, because we are in an unseen spiritual war against secularization, i.e. the organization of human life and society as if God did not exist.
Let us entreat the Putna Saints, all the Saints of the Romanian nation, and all the saints of the Universal Orthodox Church to illumine, to enkindle and strengthen our soul through their intercessions, so that we be able to walk on the path to salvation, which is man’s union with God, the source of life and eternal gladness, the patriarch urged ending his speech.
Archbishop Pimen of Suceava and Rădăuți thanked His Beatitude for all the support and presented him an icon of the Holy Saints of Putna Monastery.
As a sign of gratitude for the fruitful activity undertaken by the abbots of Putna and Sihăstria Putnei Monastery, Patriarch Daniel presented the Very Reverend Archimandrites Melchisedec Velnic and Nectarie Clinci the highest distinction in the Romanian Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cross.
Photo credit: basilica.ro