Hundreds of people flocked to Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest despite the cold weather, the wind and the rain, to prayerfully honour Saint Nectarios of Aegina the Wonderworker on Tuesday.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the outer altar of the monastery by His Grace Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova.
“Like this storm and the wind was the life of Saint Nectarios,” the assistant bishop said during his sermon.
“Saint Nectarios dedicated the 74 years of his life, of which over 40 years served the holy altar and 31 as a bishop – to the Lord, the Chief Shepherd.”
“He served God and loved Him from his childhood and sought communion with Him from the time, when, being poor, he wrote a letter to God. Only this subject in his life could be the theme of a novel on the life of a saint. A novel that begins with a letter sent to God.”
His Grace evoked the patience of St. Nectarios in the injustices done to him. Following slander, he was unjustly expelled from the dignity of metropolitan and then even asked to leave Egypt on May 3, 1890.
Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova recalled that this year we mark 60 years since the canonization of Saint Nectarios, whom he called “the wronged hierarch, the wandering hierarch.”
“Saint Nectarios manifested many gifts, being a prayerful, patient person, tolerant of others and, becoming in the last years of his life, a founder. He sacrificed his peace obtained after a long time, founding on the Island of Aegina, next to old churches built since the first Christian millennium, a monastery dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Here he gathered some of his female disciples, who became nuns.”
The assistant bishop to the Bucharest Archdiocese noted that Saint Nectarios blessed Aegina by his presence. “His prayer brought rain after a long time of drought and drove away the locusts that invaded the fruitful trees of the island. That is why, in any difficult situation, the believers asked the Hierarch for help and intercession before God.”
Bishop Timotei pointed out that the Holy Hierarch Nectarios was also a model of patience in suffering, in illness: “In the last period of his life, a heavy suffering, present even now in the world, crushed his body, which had suffered so much. Interned in a hospital in Athens, St. Nectarios lived there for about 40 days, during which time he prepared for the meeting with his Lord,” added the bishop.
“After many years of injustice, St. Nectarios received rich gifts from God, especially the gift of healing, and now, in the 21st century, he is considered one of the great holy wonderworkers. This is how God decided to remove from mankind the injustices endured during life. A reward like this is received by a person who has endured without desiring for the enemies to face the justice of God,” bishop Timotei said.
His Grace recalled that the first wonderful healing attributed to St. Nectarios took place immediately after he fell asleep on November 8, 1920, when his body had not yet been removed from the hospital.
At the end of the service on Tuesday, Bp Timotei of Prahova congratulated the abbot of Radu Vodă Monastery, Archimandrite Nectarie Șofelea, on his name day.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene
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