Orthodox Youth, local Churches representatives united in prayer at Astra Museum on Nativity of Theotokos

The Orthodox youth attending the ITO 2018 Meeting in Sibiu were united in prayer with the representatives of the local Orthodox Churches at the Divine Liturgy celebrated Saturday, Sept. 8, at Astra Museum, commemorating the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.

The Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurentiu of Transylvania.

”Keep the purity of your youthful life!
Metropolitan Laurențiu

In his homily delivered at the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Laurentiu urged the young people to keep the purity of their youthful life.

After referring to the icon of the Mother of God and her example of purity and humility, the Metropolitan offered his prayers to the Theotokos to protect the young generation.

‘We entrust all of you in prayer to the all-merciful love of the Most Pure Mother.’

‘May she protect you to maintain the purity of your youthful life, to keep away from the deceitful temptations of this defiled world, to offer yourselves one to another in the holy joy of love, in front of the Holy Altar.’

‘Be steadfast in the faith of our nation so that you may become victorious over the hardships of life through the virtue of love in the hope of gaining eternal life,’ His Eminence said Sept. 8.

Concelebrants for the Divine Liturgy included: Bishop Qais of Erzurum (Antioch Patriarchate), Metropolitan Naum of Ruse (Bulgarian Patriarchate), Bishop Nektarios of Arsinois (Church of Cyprus), Bishop Atanazy of Lodz and Poznan (Church of Poland), Archbishop Juray of Michalovce and Košice (Czech and Slovak Church).

ITO 2018
Thousands of Orthodox young people attending the Divine Liturgy at Astra Museum, Sibiu. ©ITO 2018

Following the Divine Liturgy, the representatives of the sister Orthodox Churches read out the messages sent by their Primates to the ITO 2018 participants.

Over 3000 young Orthodox Christians from Romania and other countries gathered in Sibiu on Sept. 6-9 under the motto, ‘Unity. Faith. Nation’.

The event continues the series of meetings organised in Baia Mare in 2013 and 2014, in Cluj-Napoca in 2015, in Bucharest in 2016 and in Iasi in 2017.

ITO`s purpose is creating the context for young people to experience life-changing moments, a context where they can sense the feeling of communion, of belonging, together with young people from other regions, or from abroad. A place where they can share life orthodox- values and where they can become preachers of the Christian message, spreading it in their communities.

Photos: Metropolis of Transylvania

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