Religious manifestations dedicated to the protector saint of the year 2016 in the Romanian Patriarchate continued Wednesday, 28 September, at Râmnicu Vâlcea.
In the morning, Patriarch Daniel of Romania, Patriarch John X of Antioch and Metropolitan John of Rustavi, representative of the Georgian Patriarch, consecrated the church of St Anthimos Monastery in Râmnicu Vâlcea.
The following hierarchs of the three Autocephalous Orthodox Churches were present:
- His Eminence Gattas, Metropolitan of Baghdad, Kuwait and surroundings;
- His Eminence Teofan, Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina;
- His Eminence Laurenţiu, Metropolitan of Transylvania;
- His Eminence Irineu, Metropolitan of Oltenia;
- His Eminence Ioan, Metropolitan of Banat;
- His Eminence Iosif, Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Eastern and Southern Europe;
- His Eminence Hon Metropolitan Nifon, Archbishop of Târgovişte and Patriarchal Exarch;
- His Eminence Teodosie, Archbishop of Tomis;
- His Eminence Pimen, Archbishop of Suceava and Rădăuţi;
- His Eminence Irineu, Archbishop of Alba Iulia;
- His Eminence Varsanufie, Archbishop of Râmnic;
- His Eminence Calinic, Archbishop of Argeş and Muscel;
- His Eminence Ioachim, Archbishop of Roman and Bacău;
- His Eminence Casian, Archbishop of Lower Danube;
- His Eminence Timotei, Archbishop of Arad;
- His Eminence Ephrem, Archbishop of Bolnisi;
- His Grace Qais, Bishop of Erzurum and Assistant to the Patriarch of Antioch;
- His Grace Corneliu, Bishop of Huşi;
- His Grace Lucian, Bishop of Caransebeş;
- His Grace Sofronie, Bishop of Oradea;
- His Grace Nicodim, Bishop of Severin and Strehaia;
- His Grace Andrei, Bishop of Covasna and Harghita;
- His Grace Galaction, Bishop of Alexandria and Teleorman;
- His Grace Ambrozie, Bishop of Giurgiu;
- His Grace Sebastian, Bishop of Slatina and Romanaţi;
- His Grace Visarion, Bishop of Tulcea;
- His Grace Petroniu, Bishop of Sălaj;
- His Grace Gurie, Bishop of Deva and Hunedoara;
- His Grace Siluan, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Hungary;
- His Grace Macarie, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe;
- His Grace Mihail, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand;
- His Grace Paisie of Lugoj, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Timişoara;
- His Grace Emilian of Lovişte, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Râmnic.
The new church was dedicated to the Feast of the Life-giving Spring and the Holy Hieromartyr Anthimos the Ivirite.
In his homily delivered after the consecration, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church pointed out the efforts made by two hierarchs to build this place of worship.
We have consecrated this new church dedicated to the Life-giving Spring of the Mother of God and the Holy Hieromartyr Anthimos the Ivirite. That is why the church of this monastery in Râmnicu Vâlcea bears the same name as the church of St Anthimos Monastery in Bucharest. This monastery was built with the care of the worthy of remembrance Archbishop Gherasim of Râmnic, and then painted during the pastorship of His Eminence Archbishop Varsanufie. Behold a beautiful work that can be taken as example of iconographic richness. Several iconographic and theological themes were gathered here. The church is more beautiful though when is full with faithful.
The Patriarch of Romania presented as a gift for the church a set of holy vessels, a blessing cross and several volumes about the life and works of Hieromartyr Saint Anthimos the Ivirite.
Next, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in an outer altar.
After the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Varsanufie, Archbishop of Râmnic, read out the official proclamation on the glorification of the Venerable Saints Neophyte and Meletios from Stânişoara Monastery, and Daniel and Misael from Turnu Monastery.
Our Humbleness, at the proposal of the Metropolitan Synod of the Holy Metropolis of Oltenia, together with all the members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, observing the life well-pleasing to God of these blessed saints and venerable fathers, who have hallowed and embellished the land of Oltenia, taking their praiseworthy diligence towards prayer and the defense of the true faith, and looking for the spiritual benefit of the Orthodox people bearing the name of Christ, following the holy tradition of the Orthodox Church, on a canonical and Synodal basis, calling the help of the grace of the Most Holy, Life-giving and Unseparated Trinity, we decide that from now on and unto eternity the Venerable Saints Neophyte and Meletios from Stânişoara Monastery, with feast day September 3rd, and Daniel and Misael from Turnu Monastery, with feast day October 5th, be numbered among the Saints of the Church and be commemorated and honoured with hymns of praise on their feast days.
Next, the icons of the new Saints and the reliquary containing the relics of Venerable Saint Neophyte from Stânişoara Monastery were presented, and the troparia of the saints were sung.
At the end of the ceremony, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel awarded His Eminence Metropolitan Irineu, His Eminence Archbishop Varsanufie and His Grace Bishop Emilian of Lovişte the Order of Hieromartyr Saint Anthimos the Ivirite for hierarchs, and presented as a gift an encolpion and an icon depicting Saint Anthimos the Ivirite. Very Rev. Archimandrite Sava Pleşa, abbot of St Anthimos Monastery, was awarded the Order of Hieromartyr Saint Anthimos the Ivirite for clerics. The faithful present received icons of the protector saint of the Archdiocese of Râmnic.
We are now in a region blessed by Hieromartyr Saint Anthimos the Ivirite, who was a bishop of Râmnic from 1705 until 1708. He printed here several books, among which the most important is the Liturgikon-Euchologion, printed in 1706. Later, Saint Anthimos the Ivirite reprinted them separate in 1713, at Târgovişte. Through these books, Romanian language was imposed in the worship of our Church, and many prayers written by Saint Anthimos remain until today almost unchanged. We pray that God bless these archdiocese and metropolis, and this region with such a powerful Christian tradition, which must be kept, cultivated and continued with much joy, the Patriarch of Romania said.
As a sign of gratitude, the Archbishop of Râmnic presented as a gift to the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church a reliquary containing a fragment of the relics of Venerable Saint Neophyte from Stânişoara Monastery. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel noted that this reliquary will be placed in the National Cathedral in Bucharest.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized the four saints, during its working session on 25 February 2016.