Fr Dumitru Stăniloae remembered at his tomb: He said you can meet God in the reality of your life

At Cernica Monastery, a memorial service for Father Dumitru Stăniloae was held on Wednesday, marking 29 years after his blessed repose.

Fr. Gheorghe Holbea, a professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, presided over the memorial service with a number of hieromonks at the Monastery’s Church of St. Nicholas.

Additionally, attendees prayed at Father Dumitru Stăniloae’s grave in the monastery cemetery.

Elder Georgios Kapsanis, the former abbot of Gregoriu Monastery on Mount Athos, urged to thank God for “this great gift he has given to Orthodoxy, and not only to Romanian Orthodoxy, through Father Dumitru the Theologian,” Father Holbea, one of Father Stăniloae’s disciples, recalled in his speech.

“It is a great joy for the gift that God has given not only to the human race but also to Orthodoxy since Father Dumitru Stăniloae manages to combine this faith which for some is a simple, rural faith, but to raise it to the heights of theology, by translating the Holy Church Fathers, the Fathers of the Philokalia, and the other Holy Fathers in the [Romanian] collection of Church Fathers and Writers.”

Father Holbea recalled Father Stăniloae saying, “You can encounter God in the reality of your life.”

“What is wonderful is that Father Stăniloae encourages us all to understand that we encounter God in reality, as he says: I have sought God in people, in customs, in traditions, but one day, in the writings of the Holy Fathers, I discovered that you can truly encounter God in the reality of your life.”

Additionally, Father Holbea recalled:

“What impressed me was that this communion of the Holy Trinity that Father Stăniloae formulated wonderfully as ‘the Holy Trinity or in the beginning was love’ or ‘the Holy Trinity, the structure of supreme love,’ has a depth of experience in the life of each one of us, since we must each understand that we have this quality of partners of dialogue with God and that our encounter with God is a unique encounter.”

Nevertheless, as Father Stăniloae said, “we know God in the actual circumstances of life, in His particular care for each of us.”

Father Holbea pointed to Father Stăniloae’s proposal for canonization in 2025: “We hope, with God’s grace, that in a few years we will commemorate this day as a feast of Romanian theology and Orthodox theology, honouring Saint Dumitru the Theologian.”

Father Dumitru Stăniloae reposed in the Lord on the night of 4 to 5 October 1993.

Photography courtesy of Trinitas TV / Fr. George Aniculoaie

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