While Romania instated state of emergency on Monday to contain the coronavirus epidemic, Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina sent a video encouraging message urging for prayer and calm which gathered more than 600,000 views on Facebook.
The metropolitan quotes God’s words given to prophet Isaiah 26:20:
“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.”
“It is time to seek shelter for a moment – or a while – in the privacy of our homes, until the wrath of this plague is past”, said the metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina.
“It is the right time to grasp the importance of the Divine Liturgy in our lives and the life of the world”, he added, referring to the authorities’ requirements that religious services be held in the open air and only with a small attendance.
“It is a time of grief, of longing, hoping and waiting for the moment when the Divine Liturgy may be held again under proper circumstances.”
He also suggested that body illness is sometimes the consequence of spiritual illness: “It is a time of repentance for the exceedingly many and heavy sins, be they committed by the bishops, the priests, the monastics, or the Church’s people”, Metropolitan Teofan said.
He urged prayer for those involved in taking care of the sick and asked Romanians to “share in the pain of those who are sick and of their families, through prayer and material aid.”
He advised people to let themselves in the hands of God: “It is time to faithfully confess that ʻMy hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my shelter is the Holy Spiritʼ”.
At the same time, quoting the prophet Isaiah, he said that Romanians also need to remain in self-imposed isolation for a while: “ʻGo, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed byʼ. May God forgive us and keep us in His care”, he concluded.