Metropolitan Joseph Naniescu was declared a saint Tuesday, May 22, in his home village of Razalai in the Republic of Moldova, two months after his canonization ceremony held in Romania.
St Joseph’s canonization was proclaimed locally for a second time in the Republic of Moldova, given that in Romania’s neighbouring country operates the Romanian Orthodox Church’s Autonomous Metropolis of Bessarabia and the Exarchate of the Territories.
On this occasion, Metropolitan Teofan presented the parish priest with the Saint’s icon and a particle of the holy relics.
The canonization ceremony took place after the Divine Liturgy at which four hierarchs of the Romanian Orthodox Church concelebrated.
Saint Joseph the Merciful and the Kind
In his sermon, His Eminence Met. Teofan pointed to St Joseph’s virtues, noting that he had a great faith in God and that he especially cared for the poor.
Because of his great charity, people started calling him Joseph the Merciful and the Kind.
Saint Joseph – Son of Bessarabia and Spiritual Father of Moldavia
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel conveyed a message on this occasion in which he referred to Metropolitan Saint Joseph as a son of Bessarabia and a spiritual father of Moldavia.
The patriarchal message was read out by Archbishop Casian of Lower Danube.
In his message, the Romanian Patriarch said that Saint Joseph was ‘a holy hierarch with a theological background, a pious and merciful person, a wise teacher and spiritual father, founder of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi, and a tireless shepherd of the faithful people.’
Following this moment, His Grace Bishop Ignatie of Husi read out the synodal tomos on the canonization of Saint Joseph the Merciful.
‘Looking at the sacrificial love of Metropolitan Joseph of Moldavia for his neighbour, at his Orthodox faith and his way of life, by which the Lord of the merciful love is always praised, following the apostolic and patristic Tradition of the Orthodox Church and calling to our help the grace of the Most Holy and life-giving and inseparable Trinity, we declare, as of now and forever, our Father Joseph Naniescu, the Metropolitan of Moldavia, to be honoured in the choir of the holy hierarchs by the entire Romanian Orthodox Church,’ Holy Synod’s Tomos reads.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church glorified Metropolitan Joseph Naniescu during its 5 October 2017 working session.
He was officially declared a Saint during a canonization ceremony held in Iasi on March 25, 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the Union of Bessarabia with the Kingdom of Romania.
The ceremony was presided by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.