Photo: – 12/6/18

+Memory Eternal+

A great spiritual father who labored in asceticism from the age of 13 and suffered under the Romanian communist regime has departed this life.

Archimandrite Mina (Dobzeu) reposed in the Lord yesterday at 2:55 PM in his cell at Sts. Peter and Paul Monastery in Huși in northeastern Romania, near the border with Moldova, reports the Basilica News Agency.

Elder Mina was born on November 5, 1921 in Grozești village, Bessarabia, which is today located in the Republic of Moldova. According to Wikipedia, he was one of seven children.

He became a novice at Hâncu Monastery at the age of 13 in 1934, where he remained until 1938. He was then sent to Căldăruşani Monastery for two years of apprenticeship in Church sculpture. He returned home in 1940 to find it destroyed by the soviet occupation. He later fought in the Romanian army on the front in Timisoara and then in Hungary.

After the war, he attended a choral school for 4 years, then the Neamț Monastery theological seminary for 5 years, and the Faculty of Theology in Bucharest for 4 years.

He was tonsured into monasticism at Brădicești Skete in 1946 and ordained as a hierodeacon in 1948. He was ordained a hieromonk in 1955.

He was arrested for 11 months in 1948-1949 for protesting the removal of religious education from state schools. He was then kept under house arrest for 5 years, Zariul Lumina reports.

A decade later he was kicked out of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, was expelled from his monastery, and was arrested for opposing the abolition of monasteries.

He was imprisoned at Galați, Jilava, Gherla, and in the Danube Delta Colony, where he continued to fearlessly preach the Orthodox faith, suffering greatly for his faith.

“I was punished and jailed in a prison called the Black (Cell). I stayed there for a week in isolation. There was no chair, there was plenty of moisture, only water on the ground, the pavement was made of cement, and that is why I was standing all day long. I was given food once a day at nine o’clock in the evening, following which a bed was brought for me, and at 5 in the morning they removed it,” Fr Mina remembered.

He was released from prison in 1964 and moved to Sts. Peter and Paul Monastery in Huși in 1969, where he served as abbot from 1978 to 1988. In 1971, he completed his degree in theology in Bucharest.

He spent another 8 months in jail in 1988 for letters who wrote to Nicolae Ceausesucu regarding communist atheism and Romanian morality.

He was appointed as a cultural missionary adviser to the newly-re-established Huși Diocese in 1996.

In 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina awarded Fr Mina Dobzeu the Moldavian Cross, the highest distinction of the Metropolis of Moldavia and Bukovina, during the Divine Liturgy on St. Paraskeva’s day (Oct. 14) in Iași, the Basilica News Agency reports.

May his memory be eternal!