His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has sent a message for the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, April 22, 2018, expressing his gratitude for Christian women and mothers.
The patriarch offers the Myrrhbearers as ‘true models inspiring women to live a holy, self-sacrificing life in the Family, the Church, and the Society.’
‘Through faith and devoutness, through diligence and generosity,’ the Romanian Patriarch said, ‘we can preserve and cultivate harmony and good-understanding in the family, defend and promote the values of Christian family, as well as educate children in the love of the Church and the nation.’
In his message, Patriarch Daniel remembers renowned women who ‘through their effort and sacrifice contributed to the achievement of the Great Union’: Queen Marie of Romania, Ecaterina Teodoroiu, and Elena Alistar.
Message by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania on the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women 2018 – full text:
On the third Sunday after Holy Pascha, the Orthodox Church honours the Myrrh-bearing Women, who ‘very early on the first day of the week (Sunday), just after sunrise’ (Mark 16:2) went to the tomb of our Saviour Jesus Christ bringing precious spices and received from the angels before all the news that Christ was risen from the dead.
These Myrrh-bearing women, who are remembered by the authors of the Holy Gospels, are called ‘the women disciples of the Lord’ in the hymns of our Church (Troparion of the Resurrection, tone 4).
They opened the way to professing the faith in the Resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ for all right-believing women, from the holy women martyrs, the venerable women, the holy empresses and to the Christian mothers who give birth and bring up their children in the faith and love of God and the neighbour.
Given that the Romanian Patriarchate declared 2018 as Solemn Year of the unity of faith and nation and Commemorative Year of the 1918 Great Union founders, we especially remember those women of the Romanian people who in 1918, through their effort and sacrifice, contributed to the achievement of the Great Union.
In this regard, we gratefully recall the contribution of Queen Marie of Romania – a genuine symbol of courage, devotion and love to the Romanian people.
We also mention Ecaterina Teodoroiu, who gave her life in the War for the Unifying of the Romanian Nation (1916-1918), as well as Elena Alistar, a priest’s wife, who actively militated for the unification of Bessarabia with the motherland, the only woman who was part of the Chisinau Country Council when it voted for the union with the Kingdom of Romania.
The Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women calls all women to become the ‘women disciples of the Lord’ by searching for and finding the crucified Jesus and by spreading the great joy of His Resurrection.
Today’s Christian women, and especially mothers, must see the Myrrh-bearers as true models that inspire them to lead a life of holiness and self-sacrifice in the Family, the Church, and the Society.
Thus, by faith and godliness, through diligence and generosity, harmony and good-understanding in the family can be preserved and cultivated, the values of the Christian family, as well as bringing up children in the love of the Church and the Nation can be defended and promoted.
The words ‘Rejoice! Do not be afraid!’ (Matthew 28:9-10) spoken by the risen Saviour Jesus Christ to the Myrrh-bearing women transmit light and spiritual power even today to all women, encouraging them to carry the values or virtues of true faith and to witness to the importance of giving birth to children and to bring them up and educate in faith and merciful love for the continuation in history of the Romanian people as a Christian Cross-bearing and Resurrection-bearing nation.
We pray to God to give all Christian women, as He once gave to the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, a strong faith and courage to profess and honour our risen Lord Jesus Christ, addressing them words of blessing, thankfulness and gratitude for their rich activity full of self-offering.
At the same time, we congratulate them and wish them good health and gladness, peace and joy for many and blessed years!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church