At the end of St Basil’s Divine Liturgy celebrated Monday at the Patriarchal Cathedral, His Grace Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti read out the synodal document by which the Romanian Patriarchate officially declares 2018 Solemn Year of the Unity of Faith and Nation, and Commemorative Year of the 1918 Great Union Founders.
Attending the declaration ceremony, Patriarch Daniel addressed those present stressing that ‘ever since the appearance of the Romanian people, Christian faith has been the main constituent element of Romanian self-consciousness, and Romanian identity, along with Latinity or Romanity.’
The patriarch noted that it is an incontestable historical reality that ‘Romanian ethnogenesis, or the Romanian people’s formation, and its Christianization were two concurrent and convergent processes.’
His Beatitude added that ‘united with Christ through Baptism during their development as a new people in history, Romanians carry in their souls the seal of the Mystery of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection.’
The Patriarch of Romania went on to focus on the major contribution of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the promotion of the Romanian people’s consciousness and spiritual identity.
‘The Church has persistently cultivated in the souls of the Romanian believers the consciousness that they have the same national origin, the same Neo-Latin Romance language, and the same Christian faith.’
The patriarch said that the Church understood the truth of the Daco-Roman origin and the Latinity of the Romanian language, which ‘was transmitted by the hierarchs, priests and deacons in their sermons, but especially by printing church books and spreading them in all provinces inhabited by Romanians.’
The patriarch also referred to the symbolic icons and pictures that were exhibited in the Patriarchal Cathedral to mark the beginning of the 2018 Solemn and Commemorative Year:
- Icon of the All-Holy Trinity, as ‘symbol of our unity of faith and nation, because in this context the Thee Persons of the All-Holy Trinity refer to the three major provinces: Walachia, Moldova and Transylvania.’
- Icon of the Holy Apostle Andrew, Protector of Romania, which is meaningful because of the apostolic faith transmitted to Romanians by Saint Andrew.
- Portrait of Patriarch Miron Cristea, ‘who fought greatly for the union of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania; he represents all the efforts made by the Church to achieve the 1918 Great Union.’
- Portrait of King Ferdinand I ‘the Unifier’, ‘who represents all political people and the entire Romanian nation who fought for the achievement of the ideal of the Union.’
Patriarch Daniel concluded his speech by entreating God to bless the 1918 Great Union Centenary as ‘the year of gratitude towards God and the ancestors, but also as the year of Romanian communion or spiritual unity.’
The ceremony ended with the interpretation of the Troparion of all the Romanian Saints, the National Anthem of Romania, and the Romanian traditional polychronion song (La multi ani – To Many Years).
Photo courtesy of Mihnea Păduraru / ZL