During the visit of Georgian DefMin Levan Izoria at St Anthimos Monastery in Bucharest on Wednesday, Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti stressed the importance of the monastic settlement founded by Saint Anthimos the Iberian who ‘with his typographical work, represents a bridge between the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Romanian nation, and the other Churches, especially the Georgian Church.’
‘I refer to the other Churches,’ His Grace added, ‘because Saint Anthimos the Iberian printed many books for all Orthodox peoples: Slavic, Greek, Arabic, Georgian. He printed worship and prayer books in Arabic for the first time.’
The Georgian delegation led by Levan Izoria visited the main church of the monastery and venerated the holy relics sheltered there. They also visited the monastery’s museum and the Library of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Bishop Varlaam noted that ‘this foundation of the Romanian hierarch of Georgian origin is the first attraction for the Georgian groups of officials, businesspeople or simple pilgrims coming to visit Romania.’
The delegation also visited Georgian Hall of St Anthimos monastery, where they saw various icons, religious items and albums displayed which were offered over the course of time by Georgian diplomats, politicians and officials.
Saint Anthimos the Iberian was the Metropolitan of Wallachia during 1708-1716. Thanks to his pastoral and printing activity he is considered one of the most important Wallachian metropolitans. He died a martyr’s death being in exile in 1716.
On 21 June 1992, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church glorified Metropolitan Anthimos the Iberian (Georgian), setting September 27 as feast day. The Orthodox Churches of Russia, Georgia and Poland also included St Anthimos to their local church calendar.
On St Anthimos’ 300th death anniversary, the Romanian Patriarchate declared the year 2016 a Commemorative Year of Hieromartyr Saint Anthimos the Iberian and of the church printers, when several celebrations were held in honour of the great Wallachian hierarchs.
Photo courtesy of Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro