Romanian Orthodox Church
On 15 August 2012, feast of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, was at Ţigăneşti Monastery, county of Ilfov, which celebrated its saint patron. On this occasion, His Beatitude consecrated the summer altar of the monastery. Further on, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the Divine Liturgy together with His Grace Varsanufie Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest, assisted by a group of priests and deacons in the presence of many faithful.
Mother of God has become the icon of the Church, which moves us from the earthly life to the heavenly one
In the sermon delivered after reading the Evangelical Pericope, the Patriarch of Romania explained the importance of worshipping the Mother of God for the life of the Church: “We celebrate today the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God, her passing through death, as well as her moving to heaven, because the body in which Jesus Christ, Son of God was incarnated and trampled death by death through Resurrection could not be decayed. Thus, Mother of God foretells this movement, which is a change of existence. She passes from the earthly existence in which the forming and decomposing prevail to the heavenly life in which the soul and body will participate in full unity in the glory, joy and happiness of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, in the Glory of the Most Holy Trinity and in the angels’ joy. This is why Mother of God has become the icon of the Church which moves us from the earthly life to the heavenly one”.
His Beatitude has also explained the reasons why the Gospel text on Martha and Maria, Lasarus’ sisters, is read at the feast of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God.
“Maria of today’s Gospel resembles the Mother of God because the Mother of God obeyed the words of God when she was at the temple and prepared to become the house or shrine of God-the-Word who would be incarnated in her for the salvation of the world. Virgin Mary obeyed the word of God so much that she internalized it. The Word dwelled in her first through the obedience of the words of the Holy Scriptures and then through the work of the Holy Spirit, through the conception of God-the-Word from the Mother of God, from Virgin Mary and through His Nativity from her. The Church drafted the Gospel not so much for the coincidence of names between Maria, Martha’s sister and Maria, the mother of Jesus, but because an ordinary woman worshipped the Mother of God although she was not present, when she heard Jesus, the Son, speaking. She heard Him talking with much wisdom and the woman thought of the happiness of the mother who had such a holy wise son”, said the Patriarch of Romania.
After three days, the grave of the Mother of God was found empty. The Fathers teach and we confess that the Holy Birth Giver of God was raised to heaven in her body. His Beatitude has also explained the way in which the Church tradition recalls this moment and its significance.
“We commemorate or remember both her Falling Asleep as any human, because all people die in Adam and will resurrect in Christ, and the fact that she has not remained in the grave for good, but three days after death, when her grave was visited, they noticed that she had been raised to heaven. Only her burial vestments remained in the shrine. Why that? Because the body in which God-the-Word was incarnated should not be decayed, but raised to heaven by God-the-Son, by Jesus Christ, our Saviour. This is why when looking at the icon of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God we see her lying in state surrounded by the Saints Apostles, by faithful men and women, as well as by angels also showing that the angels worship the Mother of God who is more honoured than cherubim and than the seraphim”, also said His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.
Mother of God – the joy of the distressed ones
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also shown that the Mother of God is the intercessor of the Christians to the Heavenly Throne and this is why the righteous faithful people honour her in quite a special way: “The Mother of God is worshipped first of all because she is the Mother of the Saviour of the world, as well as because they felt and feel her help in their life. She is the protector of the children and parents, of the family in general, of the young girls, of the sisters and nuns in convents, as well as of all monks.
The Mother of God is the protector of the poor too, of the sick, of the grieved ones and the humble love for those whom nobody loves, for the lonely, abandoned and forgotten ones. The Mother of God shows motherly love, merciful love, humble love, namely generous love, having been a fast helper who does not ask for anything instead. She is kindness bestowed from the fullness of the grace of God who dwells in her. This is why we consider her the joy of the grieved ones”.
Bicentennial of Ţigăneşti Monastery
Having been at Ţigăneşti Monastery on the occasion of the celebration of 200 years since the setting up of the big church, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel blessed the summer altar in the courtyard of the monastery before the Divine Liturgy. The other works for decorating and renewing the place of worship done of late have been also blessed.
“This work done on an anniversary occasion has a special importance because it is a commemoration of certain persons passed away or the anniversary of some solemn moments which means prayer first of all, as well as renewal, completion of what the forerunners did. We respect our forerunners not only remembering them with piety and devotion, but also continuing their work. The most beautiful honour of the predecessors is keeping what they did, the spiritual and material patrimony inherited from them, as well as completing and decorating what they did”, said the Patriarch of Romania.
The Patriarch of Romania awarded hieromonk Calinic, the father confessor of Ţigăneşti Monastery, the title of protosinghelos, and abbess Eufimia the order of “Saints Constantine and Helen”. His Beatitude has also awarded several orders, distinctions and diplomas to the persons who helped with the works done to the monastery. The Patriarch of Romania received an icon of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God on behalf of the monastic community of Ţigăneşti Monastery.
Ţigăneşti Monastery is one of the best-known monasteries close to Bucharest, situated in picturesque scenery, half way the distance between Bucharest and Ploieşti, 3 km far from Ciolpani commune.