In his Easter pastoral letter, the Patriarch of Romania has explained that Eucharist always offered to the persecuted Orthodox Romanians the power to love in a sacrificial way and to remain united with the crucified and risen Christ in history and in eternity.
Given that in 2019 the Romanian Patriarchate commemorates the Solemn Year of the Romanian Village, the Patriarch noted that the celebration of the Holy Eucharist was never interrupted until today ‘in the Romanian villages where the Orthodox faith was kept, beginning with the Christianization of our ancestors through the preaching of Saint Andrew’.
‘No matter how much the Orthodox Romanians were persecuted and oppressed by strangers, by different religions or confessions, or by promoters of totalitarian ideologies, the Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice continued to be officiated, because, through it, Orthodox Christians receive the power of a sacrificial love, the power to become witnesses of the Lord Christ at any time, and the joy to remain united with Him in history and in eternity,’ Patriarch Daniel stressed in his Easter encyclical.
The Patriarch noted that philanthropy was born from the love for the crucified and risen Christ. The love for Christ is also the source of religious art, including religious music, poetry and literature, miniature painting, calligraphy, church printing, architecture and sculpture, iconography, embroidery and others.
‘All these artistic creations inspired by faith have illumined the culture of the Romanian people in cities and villages,’ the Patriarch of Romania explained.
In his pastoral message for Easter, Patriarch Daniel reminded that this year is the Solemn Year of the Romanian Village, where Christian tradition and national culture have been kept with fidelity.
His Beatitude points out that ‘the village, as human settlement specific to the countryside, was often blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ when he preached the Gospel in cities and villages (Matthew 9:35), but especially He blessed the village of Bethany when he raised his friend Lazarus and the village of Emmaus, when He showed to his disciples Luke and Cleopas the veracity of His Resurrection (Luke 24:13-31)’.
The Patriarch added that ‘the Lord Jesus Christ blesses with His presence and His sanctifying work not only the inhabitants of cities, but also those of villages, and directs them towards the heavenly Jerusalem, that is to the Kingdom of God’s eternal love.’
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro