Over 1,000 pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Roman and Bacau travelled to Putna Monastery together with their Archbishop Ioachim to celebrate the feast day of Saint Jacob of Putna on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
‘On the 300th birthday anniversary of Saint Jacob of Putna, the Lower Land travelled to the Upper Land,’ the abbot of Putna Monastery, Archimandrite Melchisedec Velnic, said while he presented the Archbishop of Roman with an icon of Ruler Prince Saint Stephan the Great.
The festal Divine Liturgy was presided over by Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina. Concelebrants included the local Archbishop Pimen of Suceava and Radauti, Archbishop Ioachim of Roman and Bacau, and the assistant bishop to the Iasi Archdiocese, His Grace Bp Calinic of Botosani.
Reflecting on the life of St Jacob, Metropolitan Teofan gave a definition to what a true hierarch means today.
‘The Christian follows the priest, who follows the hierarch, who walks on the footsteps of the Saints of the Church, who walked on the path indicated to them by the Lord God.’
Definition of a true hierarch
‘The true hierarch, whom Saint Jacob of Putna identified himself with, is the bishop who knows his sheep, who identifies himself with the sorrow and joy of the priests and believers in his diocese,’ Metropolitan Teofan noted.
‘The true hierarch is the one who prays to God to give him strength so that he may lay down his life for his sheep because only in this hypostasis of a man serving the flock entrusted to him for shepherding even with the price of his life can the sheep recognize and follow his voice.’
His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan added that Saint Jacob must be ‘a shining lighthouse and a source of inspiration’ for today’s hierarchs, priests, monastics, and believers.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, there was the launch of a DVD dedicated to the Fântâna Albă massacre in 1941.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene