During atheism, the generation of martyrs and confessors was crying to God unceasingly, day and night, asking Him with faith, hope and love to bring back to life Christ’s Church, a Church that seemed to be dead, His Beatitude Metropolitan Rastislav said during his homily on Sunday.
His Beatitude Rastislav, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, presided over the Sunday Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral having as concelebrants His Eminence George, Archbishop of Michalovce and Kosice, and His Grace Timotei of Prahova, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
Addressing the believers, His Beatitude Rastislav expressed his appreciation for participating at the three-day events organized in Bucharest.
His Beatitude referred to the celebration of Saint Demetrius the New, and to the commemoration of Patriarch Justinian and of the defenders of Orthodoxy during communism in both Romania and other countries, among which are the Czech Republic and Slovakia, lands pastored by His Beatitude.
In his homily, the Czech and Slovak Church Metropolitan pointed to the ties with the Romanian Church, saying that Saint Andrew the First Called, who is Romania’s protector saint, also visited the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
His Beatitude noted that Saint Paisius Velichkovsky of Neamt, who is greatly venerated by Romanian believers, is much honoured in the Slavic lands.
Through his translation of the works of the Holy Fathers and of the Philokalia, St Paisius exerted a great influence on monastic life, not only in Romania, but also in Russia, and in our lands, he said.
His Beatitude went on to compare Jairus’ suffering for his daughter’s death with the suffering of the confessors during communist regime.
Jairus cries out to God although his daughter was dead. His doubts and the fact that he was mocked by those around are incapable to kill the faith and strong hope in his heart, because Jairus loved his daughter very much, not allowing to be intimidated by those who did not believe in miracles and who were trying to silence him.
Likewise, the generation of martyrs and confessors in the times of atheism, cried ceaselessly, day and night, to God, asking Him in their prayers with faith, hope and love to bring to life Christ’s Church, a Church that seemed dead.
During that time, when the eyes of unbelievers saw this bringing to life as useless and meaningless, the Lord heard their prayers and as once raised Jairus’ daughter so He rose and renewed His Church, Met. Rastislav added.
The Metropolitan of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church went on to thank God for the renewal of churches and deserted monasteries, and for the construction of many new churches. He also offered thanks for the priceless gift of freedom and for the possibility to revive the authentic Christian spiritual life in our countries.
His Beatitude addressed the faithful present wishing them undiminished help from God.
May the light of your Orthodox faith put on its stand burn vividly, shining the light of the truth of the Gospel and of the piety of European peoples, who live under the pressure of secularism, of deletion and leveling of spiritual and family values.
His Beatitude Rastislav ended his speech saying that only our unity and faithfulness to God, a sincere spiritual life, and the observance of the gospel commandments can help us preserve human dignity and convey with care to future generations the tradition and culture of our peoples, who have deep Christian roots.
Photography: George Ioniță/ZL