Just one day after the feast of St. Sophrony of Essex was celebrated for the first time since his glorification among the saints last year, he was honored as the patron saint of a restored and reconsecrated church in a town in northwestern Romania.
On Sunday, July 12, the old church in Sânmartin de Beiuș, named in honor of the holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, which had been restored from 2016 to 2020, was reconsecrated and given another three Heavenly protectors by His Grace Bishop Sofronie of Oradea: St. Martin of Tours, St. Martin the Confessor and Pope of Rome, and St. Sophrony of Essex, reports the Diocese of Oradea.
The current church dates to 1885, but there were several wooden churches before that.
The patronage of St. Sophrony was chosen as the day of the consecration of the church fell just after his first feast. This is perhaps the first church in the world to be named for St. Sophrony of Essex.
The diocese also explains that the name Sânmartin de Beiuș comes from the name of the Holy Hierarch Martin of Tours who served as a general in the Roman army and passed through the area where the town is located. Later, a monastic settlement was built in the area with the first abbot being a certain Monk Martin.
Following the consecration, Bp. Sofronie celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in the reconsecrated church.
The feast of St. Sophrony was celebrated at the monastery he founded in Essex, England, for the first time this year on July 10-11.
Photo courtesy of Diocese of Oradea