On the occasion of the Sunday of the Romanian migrants, August 19, 2018, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has sent a message to all Romanians living abroad urging them to keep their Orthodox faith, the national unity and the Romanian spirituality.
Unity of faith and national unity on the Centennial: Full text
The first Sunday after the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God was dedicated by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, during its working session on 25-26 February 2018, to all Romanian migrants.
This Sunday is a good occasion to address a word of blessing and spiritual strengthening to all Romanian Orthodox believers who settled or are temporarily working abroad.
By fostering the conscience of the unity of faith and nation, the Romanian Orthodox Church has contributed to the preparation of the great historical events, aiming for national unity of Romanians, namely, the 1859 Union of the Romanian Principalities, Romania’s independence (1877-1878), and the 1918 Great Union, which was decisive for the establishment of the unitary national state of Romania.
The Great Union of December 1, 2018, had positive consequences for the new, unified Romanian state, and for the Romanian Orthodox Church. On December 18/31, 1919, Bishop Miron Cristea of Caransebes was elected Primate Metropolitan of Romania, and in 1925 he became the first Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, followed by the process of the unitary organization of the Church throughout Romania.
On October 15, 1922, during a ceremony held at the Cathedral of the Romanian nation’s reunification in Alba Iulia, King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie were crowned as sovereigns of the Greater Romania, an act symbolizing the union of all Romanians ‘from Nistru to Tisa Rivers,’ under the same scepter.
In the last decade, the spiritual needs of the Romanians living far from their Homeland have determined the Romanian Orthodox Church to have as a pastoral priority the spiritual strengthening of the Romanian communities around the borders of Romania and in the Romanian Diaspora, a new reality that has gained an unprecedented momentum in the history of the Romanian people.
In this regard, the Romanian Patriarchate has cultivated the unity and identity of Romanians by establishing dioceses, deaneries, and parishes, as well as social, educational, and cultural programs meant to respond specifically to the demands of the faithful.
At the same time, through the liturgical, pastoral, and social activity of the Romanian Orthodox bishops and clergy from abroad, the Romanian Orthodox Church strives to edify churches in the souls of the faithful, but also places of worship where Romanian communities are located, thus offering the opportunity to every Romanian Orthodox Christian abroad to listen to the divine services in their mother tongue, to be able to confess and partake of the Holy Communion in a Romanian Church, thus maintaining their connection with the Mother Church in the Homeland.
In addition, the Romanian Patriarchate, according to its possibilities, helps financially these Romanian communities either directly or through the necessary steps and recommendations to the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs, and the Ministry for Romanians Abroad.
In this context, on July 17, 2018, a Collaboration Protocol between the Romanian Patriarchate and the Ministry for Romanians Abroad was signed at the Palace of the Patriarchate.
This Protocol provides for a series of projects, programs, and actions aimed at supporting Romanian communities outside the borders of Romania to keep their ethnic, cultural, and religious identity.
The joint efforts for the benefit of the Romanian communities worldwide concern the construction, repair, preservation, and equipping churches, libraries, and museums, the renovation and maintenance of memorial houses, historical monuments and cemeteries.
In addition to these, we intend to organize traditional events on the occasion of the great feast days, various cultural manifestations, camps for children and young people abroad, Romanian language contests within the Sunday School program, public school religious education aimed at familiarizing children with the Orthodox faith, with the tie between Christian faith and the Romanian culture, but also with respect for religious freedom.
Particularly, the divine services broadcast daily by the Romanian Patriarchate’s Trinitas Radio Station and Trinitas TV are of a real spiritual profit to the Orthodox Romanians living temporarily or permanently far from the Motherland.
This year 2018, when we mark the Centennial of the 1918 Great Union founders, is particularly a year of gratitude and of Romanian communion, and also a blessed occasion to work more intensely for the cultivation of the unity of apostolic faith received from Saint Andrew the First-Called, Protector of Romania, who is also the Patron Saint of the new National Cathedral.
By the mercy of God, through the intercessions of the Mother of God, of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Protector of Romania, and of all the Saints, with the generosity of the clergy and faithful of the Romanian Patriarchate from home and abroad, as well as of the Romanian Government, of Bucharest’s City Council, other city and county councils in Romania, on November 25, 2018, the National Cathedral will be consecrated, being a practical liturgical necessity and a symbol of Romanian spirituality.
The Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral or the National Cathedral, having as primary patronal feast the Ascension of the Lord and Heroes’ Day, symbolically unites the love of God of a Christian, sacrificial, and generous people, with the gratitude we always owe to the national Heroes.
On this occasion, we thank the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Romanian Diaspora who, like many church and monastery founders, supported with the Orthodox Romanians from home, the continuation and finalization of all the works at the National Cathedral, thus experiencing the joy that they are also ‘a nation of voivodes’, Romanian lovers of Christ, founders of the Church and of the Nation.
We entreat the Compassionate God to give all Romanians who are among foreigners good health and salvation, peace, gladness, and the joy to always keep their Orthodox faith, the national unity and the Romanian spirituality!
With esteem and paternal blessing,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church