During the solemn session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church held on Monday at the Patriarchal Palace in Bucharest to mark the 30th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said that the sacrifice of those who fell in December 1989 is the foundation of our freedom today.
Patriarch Daniel’s message: full text
The 30th anniversary of the fall of communism is an occasion to thank God for the gift of freedom of the Romanian people, to honour the memory of those who suffered during the communist regime, as well as the memory of the heroes who sacrificed themselves for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian nation in December 1989.
Their commemoration or remembrance in a state of prayer and spiritual communion is our moral duty of all Romanians everywhere. It is an act of gratitude and appreciation for their sacrifice, as well as the most real and profound expression of cultivating our bond of fraternal love with them, a love stronger than the death of the body and the opacity of the grave. And if we don’t remember the heroes, we bury them in our forgetfulness. However, their remembrance in the hope of the Resurrection and of eternal life is the acknowledgement of their dignity and the hope of fulfilling justice for them.
Those who sacrificed for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people in December 1989 were mostly young.
These young people showed not only courage but also a great deal of faith, inherited from their parents and grandparents. Many of them kneeled down and said the prayer Our Father, although in schools the religious education was no longer allowed after the establishment of the atheist communist regime in Romania.
In December 1989, young people felt the presence of God and sacrificed for the liberation of the people from the absurdity of the atheist political doctrine, imposed as the official ideology of atheistic and oppressive communism. That is why, spontaneously, young people shouted in many places in the country: “God is with us!” Or “We will die and be free!”
These young heroes, who sacrificed themselves for the faith, freedom and dignity of the Romanian people, are remembered in the prayers of our Church, every day, at the Divine Liturgy. They call us today not to separate the gift of freedom from the gift of faith, holiness of life and national dignity.
The commemoration of the Romanian heroes of December 1989 urges us to cherish more those who fight and work for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people, at any time, but especially when it is in danger of losing its identity and unity.
Let us pray to the Saviour Jesus Christ, that the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people, in December 1989, may bring forth a stronger faith, more good deeds and a more intense fraternal communion.
May God help us to permanently unite freedom with responsibility, democracy with Romanian unity, national dignity with international solidarity!
Memory eternal to the Romanian heroes of December 1989!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu
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