She is 85 and has been living in a monastery since the age of 8.
On Thursday, January 10, 2019, the abbess of Vorona Monastery, Eldress Teofana Scântei was honoured with the highest distinction in the Romanian Patriarchate on her 50th enthronement anniversary.
Being born in the village of Chișcăreni, Botosani County, the eight-year old Fevronia went to Agafton Monastery and she did not want to leave.
Her parents agreed with her decision and entrusted her guidance to Mother Mitrodora Savel.
At the age of 15 she moved to Râşca Monastery, but suffered from the communist decree according to which only men aged 55 and over, and women aged 50 and over were to be admitted into monasticism, all the other monastics being removed from monasteries.
She lived in Falticeni for 9 years where she worked at the city’s silk mill.
On January 10, 1969, Mother Teofana was appointed abbess of Vorona Monastery, which was re-opened by Romania’s former Patriarch Justin Moisescu of blessed memory.
During the nine years, the cells of Vorona Monastery served as stables, and the Dormition of the Theotokos Church was a warehouse for grain.
Under Mother Teofana’s leadership, Vorona Monastery experienced a period of renewal during which three churches were restored, three monastic houses were built, additional buildings were erected, spiritual life was enhanced and numerous philanthropic activities were carried out.
Also noteworthy is the patronal feast of Vorona Monastery on Sept. 7-8, 2005, when Venerable Onuphrius of Vorona’s sainthood was declared during a special ceremony in the presence of Patriarch Teoctist.
For all her efforts made in the ministry of the Church, Mother Teofana received the Patriarchal Cross, the highest distinction in the Romanian Patriarchate.
The church award was bestowed by Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina during a ceremony held Jan. 10 following the Divine Liturgy.
Photography courtesy of Tudorel Rusu / Doxologia