How many Romanian monks are there in the Holy Land?

There are currently ten monks and twenty-four nuns (and sisters) of Romanian origin in the Holy Land. Of these, five hieromonks and nine nuns serve at the Romanian Settlements in Jerusalem and Jericho, Archimandrite Teofil Anăstăsoaie said at a symposium dedicated to monasticism, organized by the Romanian Patriarchate on Tuesday.

The other Romanian monastics in Israel are part of monasteries or hermitages belonging to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The superior of the Romanian Settlements in Jerusalem, Jordan and Jericho, Fr. Teofil Anăstăsoaie, spoke during the meeting on Tuesday about the current situation of monasticism in the Holy Land. He also referred to the Romanian Hermitage in Jordan.

“There has been no monastic presence since 1970 when the last monk was killed – protosyncellus Damian Stogu. By 2016, the area was completely closed due to mines and explosives placed by the army to stop the infiltration of Arab insurgents from Jordan, but following the approval of the demining and clearing project in the area – the Anglo-American-Israeli company Halo Trust, specialized in operations of this kind, managed to execute demining works of the affected land and buildings.”

“Since 2020, the plots of land and the ruins of the existing buildings have been returned to their owners – to the eight Christian Churches. So, the Romanian Patriarchate also received the documents on the recognition of the property from the Jordan River,” Fr. Teofil Ansăstăsoaie said.

The superior of the Romanian Settlements in Jerusalem, Jordan and Jericho noted that in the future, when the political and sanitary situation will permit, a technical team of specialists appointed by the Romanian Patriarchate will arrive in the area to start the evaluation to develop restoration solutions.

Photography courtesy of / Raluca-Emanuela Ene

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