The Patriarch of Romania on Tuesday honoured his patron saint the Prophet Daniel in liturgical communion with the members of the Holy Synod, who shared their best wishes for the Patriarch’s name day at the end of the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramures and Satmar officiated a Doxology as a token of gratitude to God for the protection and help offered to Patriarch Daniel in serving the Romanian Orthodox Church.
A powerful patriarch for difficult times
In his speech, Metropolitan Andrei stressed that the current leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church is ‘a powerful patriarch in difficult times.’
His Eminence entitled his speech ‘A man loved by God.’ He congratulated the Patriarch linking His Beatitude’s ministry with the activity of the Holy Prophet Daniel, who was ‘a powerful prophet for difficult times.’
“We would not be honest if we did not recognize that the times we live are difficult. Not only when we refer to the economic situation, but also to the spiritual life. In the atmosphere of secularization, attitudes against the Church are increasingly frequent. The Head of the Church is His Beatitude. And at the peak, ultimately, all the evils are felt most strongly.”
The Metropolitan of Cluj said that we are living the last times about which Abba Pambo said that ‘the love most will grow cold, and there will be unbelief, defilement, hatred, enmity, envy, upstirrings, thefts and drunkenness.’
“The times must be confronted and defeated,” the hierarch continued. “The flag bearer in this struggle is His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, a powerful Patriarch for difficult times.”
The Metropolitan recalled that one of the “strongholds that the Patriarch of Romania raised in the way of ephemerality that could drown us” is the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral – “this foundation for eternity, as His Beatitude likes to call it.”
“With all his openness to the world, to European values and to ecumenism, our Patriarch remains rooted in the tradition of his predecessors,” added the Metropolitan of Cluj, eulogizing the portrait of the current leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church:
‘The Patriarch is an imposing, wise, firm, settled, serene, figure, clear in thought, slightly prophetic, affable, connected with his nation with the seal and purpose of faith, good to eminent, theologian, a consummate humanist, able to renounce the privilege of voluntarism of illusion and external freedom, ordering his entire life in such a way that in the world he serves there are no mistakes that have to be corrected.’
‘In the turmoil of the times, the attitude of His Beatitude is of great profit to us,’ said the Metropolitan of Cluj recalling the positions taken in the defence of religious education in public schools, the law on the freedom of religion and the general status of denominations in Romania, in regaining church properties, the remuneration of the clergy and the safeguarding of the traditional family.
The Metropolitan wished the Patriarch “Many and happy years!” and presented the Patriarch with an icon of the Lord Jesus Christ and flowers on behalf of the members of the Holy Synod.
We think more about what is missing in our work
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel thanked for the appreciations and humbly said that some of them were ‘amplified.’
“We are thinking more about what is missing in our work than what has already been done. The praise should be understood more as an encouragement than a confirmation of reality,” said Patriarch Daniel on December 17.
“We thank God for the calling to ministry, for the help offered, and we thank the Saints who protect us. Every servant of the Church – hierarch, priest or deacon – needs the help of the Saints because they serve the holy things.”
“At the same time we are all aware that in the Church all good works are done together,” added the Patriarch, thanking the clergy, the faithful, the state authorities, all the hardworking and generous people who got involved and supported the activity of the Church.
His Beatitude pointed out that “we are living in a time when the language has been somewhat degraded and the word loses its spiritual strength if it is not accompanied by visible, concrete actions.”
“We need to show by deeds what we preach through all the academic and pastoral theology,” the Patriarch said.
The festive moment continued at the Patriarchate Palace. Congratulations were presented by state officials.
At the end, the Patriarch received a group of carollers from the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” High School in Bucharest.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu
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