Moscow, 03.12.2017 – During his visit in the capital of Russia on the centenary of the restoration of the Russian Patriarchate, Patriarch Daniel presided over the Sunday Divine Liturgy at the main church of the Intercession (Pokrovsky) Monastery, where the relics of Saint Matrona of Moscow are kept. This was the first time for a Romanian Patriarch to serve at this Russian monastic settlement.
Founded in 1635 by czar Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov, the Intercession Monastery was closed in 1920 under the communist regime, and reopened on 24 November 1984.
Concelebrants for the Divine Liturgy presided over by Patriarch Daniel included:
- His Eminence Hon Metropolitan Nifon, Archbishop of Târgoviște;
- His Eminence Veniamin, Metropolitan of Orenburg and Saraktash;
- His Grace Irinej, Bishop of Orsk and Gai;
- Members of the Romanian Patriarchate’s delegation.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Daniel offered his reflections on the parable of the rich fool related by the gospel of Luke.
His Beatitude noted that wealth and poverty do not represent a final target in themselves, but they can be an opportunity to draw closer to God and our fellows, or to draw away from them.
Referring to the rich man in the parable, Patriarch Daniel said that he had forgotten God and his neighbours. The fact that he thought only about himself to have material provisions made him spiritually estranged, the patriarch noted.
This covetous, unmerciful, unthankful rich man from the gospel represents anyone who reaches a state of spiritual slavery, by being exclusively attached to the limited, passing, material things of this world.
An alternative to this insane run after material wealth is the spiritual enrichment in God by accumulating spiritual gifts and virtues, the patriarch said.
Spiritual wealth is learned when we are grateful to God for the gifts we receive, because through prayer God’s love becomes the wealth of our soul, His Beatitude said addressing the faithful present at the Divine Liturgy.
After His Beatitude concluded his speech, Abbess Theophania presented the Romanian Patriarch with an icon depicting Saint Matrona of Moscow and offered him flowers.
As a sign of gratitude and blessing, Patriarch Daniel presented Abbess Theophania with a blessing cross, a pectoral cross with the Patriarchate’s coat of arms, and several CDs with Romanian Christmas carols.
The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church thanked the Abbess for the warm reception and for her hospitality.
We have been received with much joy, offering this church to have the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Romanian and Russian hierarchs. We are extremely happy for venerating the relics of Saint Matrona, who is renowned in Moscow and across all Russia, His Beatitude noted.
The abbess expressed her joy for the fact that a Romanian Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the first time in the monastery’s history. Abbess Theophania referred to St Matrona and pointed to the love and veneration of the Russian faithful for this saint.
Before the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel and the other members of the Romanian Patriarchate’s delegation venerated the holy relics of Saint Matrona.
On Saturday, December 2, Patriarch Daniel attended the solemn session of the Bishop’s Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, where he addressed those present stressing the importance of fraternal communion and missionary co-responsibility.
This is the second time Patriarch Daniel has visited Russia since his enthronement as Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The first time he paid a visit to Moscow was at the funerals of former Russian Patriarch Alexy II.
Photo courtesy of Robert Nicolae/Basilica.ro