In his Easter Pastoral Letter, Bishop Ioan Casian of Canada called upon the faithful to follow in the footsteps of the patron saints of the Romanian diaspora, taking them as their models.
“Let us also become steadfast confessors of the Orthodox faith, outstanding representatives of our traditional Christian values proven by time and experience, and let us learn from every good thing something useful to us and others,” emphasizes the hierarch in his Easter Pastoral Letter.
2021 is the “Solemn Year of the pastoral care of the Romanians outside Romania” and its representative icon shows three saints of Romanian origins: St John Cassian, St John Jacob the New Chozebite and St Dionysius Exiguus.
They have been chosen as patron saints of the Romanian diaspora for having born the same cross of living abroad and being buried outside the native Romanian lands.
“St. John Cassian (360-433), who is also one of the protectors of our Diocese, grew up in the spirit of Dobrogean monasticism, attended the school of the great Egyptian monasticism, becoming an important spiritual author and intellectual reference for Christian life in the West.”
“St. John Jacob the New Chozebite (1913-1960), a descendant of the Neamt monasticism, rigorous and ascetic, endeavored and achieved sainthood by living in the Holy Land, putting in verse and prose his experiences, thoughts and reflections that form a healthy spiritual foundation for a modern world in continuous quest and renewal.”
“St. Dionysius Exiguus (470-544), visibly marked our world by establishing the calendar of our era, counting the years since the birth of Christ.”
His Grace said that year 2021 “is a year in which we think more about our role as Christians here and now”.
“We are trying to be in closer communion with the people back home. It is a time when we must think about the values that have constituted the foundation for our identity as Romanian Orthodox Christians, and for our existence and permanence in history,” he added.
“Church, family and school are the three values or elements on which our Christian consciousness and our formation for life were based. The Church has given us the sense of permanence, dignity and ethics, as well as the spiritual elevation; the family has given us the possibility of communion and a sense of belonging to a common origin; the school has prepared us for life, making us citizens of this world”.
Read here the integral text of the Pastoral Letter.