Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina celebrated on Tuesday the Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Paisius at Neamț Monastery in northeastern Romania, where the great saint served as abbot.
Met. Teofan was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip—the Ukrainian hierarch of St. Paisius’ hometown of Poltava—and several other hierarchs from the Romanian Orthodox Church: Bishop Nicodim of Severin and Strehaia, Bishop Veniamin of Southern Bessarabia, Auxiliary Bishop Nichifor of Botoșani (Archdiocese of Iași) and Auxiliary Bishop Benedict of Bistrița (Archdiocese of Vad, Feleac and Cluj).
Among the faithful present at the feast were the participants in an international symposium dedicated the St Paisius of Neamț at the same time.
His Grace Benedict of Bistrița spoke about St. Paisius’ great longing to serve the Lord fully and become everything that a man can be in the Lord. St. Paisius wasn’t satisfied with just a little, the hierarch emphasized.
Metropolitan Teofan implored the faithful to always be grateful to God for the great gift given to the Christian world, including Moldova and Neamț Monastery, through the great St. Paisius.
“The liturgical conscience of the Church calls St. Paisius the candlestick of light, the vessel of prayer, the source of virtue, the one who reached divine and true knowledge through the gift of God. The hymns of the Church show that he fulfilled the will of God and transformed the land of Moldova into Heaven, his heart became Heaven, with the throne of the Holy God in the midst of it,” His Eminence said.
St. Paisius is recognized as the founder of the spirituality that then developed in the 17th-18th centuries, Met. Philip of Poltava said.
Abbot Benedict of Neamț Monastery emphasized that the brotherhood “lives in the spirit of the great hesychast.”
Following the Liturgy, a new section of the monastery museum was blessed and dedicated to St. Paisius.
This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of St. Paisius Velichkovsky, the great monastic father who is largely responsible for the hesychastic revival throughout Eastern Europe.
An international symposium, “The Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of St. Paisius of Neamț: 300 Years Since His Birth (1722-2022),” was also held in Iași from November 13 to 16, with participants from nine countries.
St Paisius Velichkovsky, also known in Romania as Venerable Paisius of Neamț, was born in Poltava, Ukraine, on December 21, 1722, and was the spiritual disciple of Venerable Vasile of Poiana Mărului. He coordinated an intense activity of translation and publication in Romanian and Slavic of the Philokalic writings of the Holy Fathers.
He is one of the three spiritual patrons of the Commemorative Year 2022, dedicated to prayer and Hesychast saints in the Romanian Patriarchate. The other two patrons of the year are Saints Symeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas.
Tr. by OrthoChristian
Photo credit: Doxologia.ro / Pr. Silviu Cluci