‘The Life-Giving Spring is a celebration of joy,’ His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said on Bright Friday at Jercalai Monastery, ‘because the Mother of God, who is the living icon of the praying Church, becomes a healing spring for us through the grace bestowed upon her from Christ.’
Value the gift of health
‘We are often ignorant of how great the gift of health is. We become aware only when we are no longer healthy.’
‘We don’t know how great the gift of sight is, but when we cannot see much. We don’t know how great is the gift of having a heart that works properly, but then when it starts to hurt us,’ the Patriarch of Romania said May 3.
‘These diseases that come upon us compel us to ask more fervently God’s help, to value more the gift of health, and at the same time to be more merciful and helpful to those who suffer,’ His Beatitude added.
Showing mercy to the suffering
The Patriarch told those present how one can show mercy towards those who suffer: by visiting them, by helping them, by offering gifts or if we do not have any money for medication, at least we should visit them because ‘our presence near the one who is suffering is a gift, and spiritual alms.’
‘We can perform merciful acts in many ways: praying for the sick, paying a visit, addressing a kind word, a word of encouragement,’ Patriarch Daniel explained.
His Beatitude underscored that these gestures show ‘that in our souls we have the humble and merciful love of Christ and of the Mother of God.’
How the feast was established
During the homily delivered on Friday, May 3, 2019, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel briefed on the events that happened in the fifth century that led to the establishment of the feast day of the Life-Giving Spring of the Theotokos.
Emperor Leon the Great, also called the Thracian, built a church near Constantinople, above a spring where the Mother of God made a miracle in his presence and prophesied to him that he would become emperor.
The day when this church was consecrated became a feast day for the entire Orthodoxy, turning the church and the wonderworking spring into a place of pilgrimage.
Help of the divine grace
The Patriarch of Romania explained that the healing received by tasting the water of the spring is performed with the help of the grace coming from Christ through the Mother of God upon those who have a strong faith.
‘May Christ and the Mother of God help us to feel the support of the divine grace and the joy of this help unto the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for our salvation,’ the Patriarch said ending his speech.
After attending the Divine Liturgy and delivering his sermon, Patriarch Daniel officiated the Lesser Blessing of Waters in the courtyard of Jercalai Monastery, according to church tradition.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene