On the feast day of Saint Great Martyr George, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, assisted at the Divine Liturgy celebrated at St Mary Stavropegic Monastery in Techirghiol.
The day of Sunday, 23 April 2017, has brought increased joy, the Patriarch said, since the commemoration of Saint George coincided with the feast of Antipascha, also known as St Thomas Sunday.
His Beatitude addressed the faithful with a homily in which he focused on the significance of faith understood as God’s gift that has to be cultivated.
From today’s gospel reading, the Patriarch said, we learn that Jesus calls blessed those who believed in Him although they did not see Him risen, thus showing that faith means knowledge beyond bodily vision.
This knowledge above the bodily senses is a living relation with God. The Patriarch quoted the definition of faith given by St Paul in his second epistle to Corinthians (4:18) saying that faith is a foretaste of the things promised and a confirmation of the unseen realities.
The boundless, immaterial, eternal God cannot be perceived with our limited, bodily eyes. However, He often adapts to our limited ability to know and reveals Himself in different manners: He sends angels and prophets to preach His will to the world, and in the last days, He sends His eternal Son, Who becomes Human for our sake, the patriarch added.
Faith is this spiritual ability to feel God present in the life of the Church. Those who love Christ, even though they are incapable of seeing Him physically, feel this divine presence. Moreover, he who has faith, the Patriarch said, receives much joy.
For such a faith, His Beatitude said, we receive the salvation of our souls as a reward, which is the union between the mortal man and the Immortal God.
In the second part of his speech, the Romanian Patriarch presented the life and martyrdom of the Holy Great Martyr George as an example to profess and cultivate faith.
His Beatitude noted the special honour Saint George enjoys in Romania since there are several cities that bear his name. The Patriarch recalled that the Moldavian Ruler Prince St Stephen the Great carried the icon of St George on his battle flags and that St George is the spiritual protector of the Ground Forces of the Romanian Army.
As a highly celebrated saint, Saint George is connected with a large number of patronages throughout the world, and his iconography can be found on the flags and coats of arms of a number of cities and countries.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church ended his speech by addressing best wishes to those who celebrated their name’s day on the feast of St George and entreated Saint George to protect all those who bear his name, wishing them many years, good health, joy and divine help, much faith and many good deeds!
© Lumina Newspaper