Patriarch Daniel receives Great Union Centennial medal as recognition of Church’s contribution to national identity preservation

In response to being presented on Tuesday, on behalf of President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, with the ‘Greater Union Centennial’ medal for the involvement of the Church in promoting national memory and values, Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church said that the distinction is a sign of the esteem in which the head of the state holds the Romanian Orthodox Church.

“It is a joy that the contribution of the Romanian Orthodox Church over the centuries to the preservation and cultivation of national identity and unity is acknowledged.”

“It is a joy, because this sign of appreciation of the President of Romania for the Romanian Orthodox Church comes on the day of Saint Andrew the Apostle, who is the Protector of Romania and, significantly, the commemoration day of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the Protector of Romania, precedes the National Day of Romania,” Patriarch Daniel said November 30, 2021.

The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church emphasized the “very fruitful cooperation” the Church and the State have had over time.

“We had very fruitful cooperation between the State and the Church, between the servants of the Church and the Romanian patriots over time, but especially in 1918. And in 2018, on the Centennial, we had yet one more reason for joy, namely the consecration of the altar of the National Cathedral, which was also an ideal ever since the reign of King Carol I and then of King Ferdinand and was supported by the Church,” Patriarch Daniel noted.

The ‘Greater Union Centennial’ anniversary medal was awarded by the President of Romania out of the “wish to reward the merits of the Romanian Orthodox Church, in appreciation of its efforts to preserve and promote the memory of events and participants in the achievement of national unity and the modern national state, for its contribution to the defence and perpetuation of the values in the name of which the Greater Union was accomplished,” reads the certificate signed by President Klaus Iohannis.

The medal was handed over by the presidential counsellor Sergiu Nistor at the patriarchal residence in Bucharest.

His Beatitude thanked President Klaus Iohannis for the distinction and asked God “to grant everyone the joy to feel the gift of unity, communion and fraternity.”

Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Mihnea Păduraru

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