Fr. Ștefan Stanciu from the Ghencea district of Bucharest is currently in the midst of a trip to bless a number of grave monuments throughout Russia to Romanian WW2 prisoners of war who died in Soviet gulags.
Together with the Romanian ambassador to Moscow, Vasile Soare, the priest will travel more than 5,000 km to bless seven monuments.
The monuments to those who died between 1941 and 1952 were erected in 2018 by the Romanian state.
The first two stops were in Chebakovo and Mikhailovo, near Nizny Novgorod, where 111 Romanian soldiers are buried. The delegation blessed the Romanian monument in the multinational cemetery in Chebakovo on June 3, with His Grace Bishop Benjamin of Rybinsk and representatives of local authorities in attendance.
The delegation reached Mikhailovo the next day, where it was welcome by the local parish priest.
At each monument, Ambassador Soare gave a brief lecture on Romanian prisoners in Russia and on the significance of Heroes’ Day.
Romanian Heroes’ Day is celebrated on the feast of the Ascension and is observed with military and religious festivities at monuments dedicated to national heroes
The blessing of the monuments was celebrated with the singing of Christ is Risen in both Romanian and Slavonic.
The delegation reached the third stop in Usta on the feast of the Ascension and Romanian Heroes’ Day.
English translation by OrthoChristian
Photo: Facebook / Vasile Soare