The Patriarch of Romania, the President of Romania, the President of the Romanian Academy, academicians, professors, clergy and other officials were among the attendees of the Wednesday scientific session ‘The Union of the Romanian Principalities: the foundation of the 1918 Great Union’ that took place at the Patriarch Teoctist Aula of the Patriarchal Palace, the place where the Elective Assembly of Wallachia gathered under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Nifon on 24 January 1859.
Chairing the festive session was the Romanian Academy’s President Cristian Hera who pointed to the need of unity so as to attain to power.
‘May we follow the example of the founders of the 1859 and 1918 Unions, astral events that warm the souls of Romanians in cold winter times and forever. Let us pass on to our successors a united, worthy and respectful country, in which may concord prevail regardless of the differences between us of any kind such as ethnic, religious, social or political. Let us always have one thought: union gives power,’ said Academician Hera in his opening remarks.
President Klaus Iohannis took the floor and stressed that the political elites of the time ‘have understood the historical moment and have followed the general interest of society,’ thus achieving ‘a fundamental moment of the birth of the Romanian state.’
‘The message over time of the Union of the Principalities, as well as that of the Great Union, is found in the spirit, the energy, and the social determination to follow our European destiny. In these two fundamental moments of our modern history, Romanians were led by diligent leaders,’ President Klaus Iohannis noted Jan. 24.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel presented his speech entitled ‘The building where the Union was decided’, in which he pointed to the importance of the commemoration of the ‘Fundamental Union’ that took place ‘on the well-known Hill of the Metropolis, a landmark of history, faith and culture, a place of blessings that brings joy to humans.’
‘For Romania’s history, the day of 24 January 1859 represents a fundamental moment in which the hierarchs and clergy of the Church, politicians and the people, gathered on the Hill of the Metropolis, had a decisive role for the Union of the Romanian Principalities,’ the patriarch said.
The eldest Romanian academician and president of the Romanian Academy’s History Department, Dan Berindei, highlighted that ‘to the wonder of the entire Europe, the Union of the Principalities was a common goal of an entire nation that demonstrated its existence as a strong David prevailing over several Goliaths.’
Speakers for the scientific session included:
- Academician Victor Spinei, who referred to the ‘Union of the Principalities in an international context’
- Academician Ioan Aurel Pop, who stressed the ‘Importance of the 1859 Union for Romanians in Transylvania’
- Academician Victor Voicu, who entitled his speech ‘Romanian elite and the achievement of the Romanian Principalities’ Union’
- Academician Eugen Simion, who meditated on Romanian literary critic George Calinescu’s characterization of the 1859 Union Founders as ‘positive Messianic’.
Attending the session were the State Secretary for Religious Affairs, Mr Victor Opaschi, Presidential Adviser Sergiu Nistor, members of the Standing National Church Council and of Bucharest’s Archdiocesan Council.
His Grace Bishop Varlaam closed the scientific session by presenting two volumes on the contribution of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the 1918 Great Union, published by the Basilica Publishing House of the Romanian Patriarchate.
Finally, Patriarch Daniel addressed thanks to all those present.
Photography courtesy of Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro