Elders Paisie Olaru, Ilie Cleopa and Dionisie the Blind from the Colciu Cell of Vatopaidi Monastery are proposed for canonization, announced Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina on Friday.
The declaration was offered during the hierarch’s visit to a church in the city of Botoşani.
„We hope that some time – because we do not speed things – that some time soon, we shall have other three memorial houses connected to the names of Elders Paisie Olaru, Ilie Cleopa and Dionisie the Blind, from the Colciu Cell, as they are all native of this area and they have already been proposed for canonization in 2025, when the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates 100 years as Patriarchate and 140 of autocefaly,” mentioned the metropolitan.
“This moment will be marked, with God’s will, by canonizing important persons for the life of our Church – among them, the three whom I have already mentioned and who were born in this area,” added the hierarch.
His Eminence expressed hope that all the three memorial houses will be finished before the canonizations, joining the list next to the Patriarch Teoctist’s house in Tocileni and that of St John Jacob of Chozeba in Crăiniceni-Horodiştea.
It is for the first time when the names of Elders Paisie Olaru and Dionisie Ignat are mentioned in relation to possible canonization. They were natives of Botoşani county, Romania.
Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti spoke at the beginning of the year about the name of Elder Cleopa Ilie being proposed for canonization, along with other two names: Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae and Archim. Gherasim Iscu.
Elder Paisie (Olaru) was born on June 20, 1897, in Stroieşti, Lunca Commune, Botoşani County.
He entered the community of the Cozancea-Botoşani Hermitage in 1921, and a year later he was tonsured as a monk with the name Paisie.
He was ordained a deacon on October 14, 1943, and a priest in April 1947. He was abbot of the hermitage for a year, from 1947-1948.
In 1948 he retired to the Neamţ Monastery, between 1949-1953 he lived at the Slatina-Suceava Monastery, and from 1954, at the Sihăstria Monastery. Between 1972 and 1984 he lived at the Sihla Hermitage.
He reposed in the Lord on October 18, 1990 at the Sihăstria Monastery.
Elder Dionisie (Ignat) was born on September 22, 1909, in the Vorniceni Commune in Botoşani County.
In the 1920s he went with his brother to the Holy Mountain and was tonsured as a monk in 1927.
Revered by monks and pilgrims from all over the world, Fr. Dionisie distinguished himself in his 78 years of monastic life on the Holy Mountain as a great hermit and the confessor of many Athonite fathers, abbots, hieromonks, hermits, monks, and pilgrims, including Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, a spiritual child of St. Joseph the Hesychast.
He was recognized as a skilled worker of the Jesus Prayer. Fr. Dionisie also had close spiritual ties with St. Paisios, the Hieroschemamonk Ioan Guțu, and Archimandrite Petroniu Tănase, the abbot of the Romanian Prodromu Hermitage.
Elder Dionisie reposed in the Lord on April 11/28, 2004, at the age of 95, being considered one of the greatest clerics of the Holy Mountain.