His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania blessed the painting of the chapel of Saint John the Baptist of the Romanian American University of Bucharest. On this occasion, the new Lux Mundi lecture room was blessed too. Univ. Prof. Dr. Ovidiu Flocut, Rector of the University, other members of the leadership of the educational institution, professors, students, as well as many faithful attended the event.
To end with, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a speech on the importance of a place of prayer for the students: “I blessed the painting of this university chapel which is very important for a new University, namely the Romanian – American University of Bucharest, because it brings one more beauty, this liturgical beauty becoming a more insistent call to prayer and communion, because the true prayer brings about brotherly communion, and approaching among people, namely the relationship with the Holy God who deifies and strengthens the love of the people for God and for one another. This is why it is very important that every institution should have a place of intense communion with God and with the fellow beings. For God, every human being, no matter the gender, rank, service in society and social state has a unique eternal value. Thus, we see that in a place of worship, after the icons of the saints are incensed as a form of veneration, so are the faithful present, the same as at the consecration of a church or blessing of the painting in a church the faithful present are sprinkled with the same holy water because they make the Church in the living sense of the word.
The Patriarch of Romania has also shown that “we must remember the fact that the first universities of the West were set up by the care of the eparchies and monasteries. The old universities of England or colleges have been endowed till nowadays with chapels as places of prayer and of communion between generations. In a chapel not only the living are remembered, but also the dead. This remembrance from generation to generation shows that the love in prayer is stronger than death. In our country the first schools were opened by the Church. The first books printed in the territory of our country were books of service. In 1508, the first book was printed in the territory of Romania, namely the “Liturgy” book from Targoviste city.
“Here is a great blessing, namely to enrich the soul with the holiest love of God, to include in our prayers all the dear ones, as well as those who do not know how to pray or cannot do it anymore because of too much sufferance or lack of good health. Thus, no matter if we pray in a small village wooden church, in a university chapel or a national cathedral, we must include all faithful people in our prayer, of all times and places and even pray for all humankind. God loves all people, but their answer to Him differs in intensity and form”, His Beatitude said.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel spoke to those present about the dialogue between science and religion pointing out the important role of Religion for understanding the eternal values of science: “We are glad because in this new university professors and students come closer one to another in prayer, just like the students from here and those invited to prayer (…). We set up within the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of Bucharest a centre of dialogue and research between theology, philosophy and science. This inter-disciplinary centre is more and more popular with young people, especially with those who teach Religion in school. Science and Religion are no longer opposed as during the communist time when they said that you cannot be a man of science and religious too. Now, we reach the conclusion that unless you are religious you cannot understand the eternal value of your science, because, in fact, all sciences are in complementarity and only when complementarity and the specific character of every form of science are understood cooperation and co-responsibility in society can be reached. I approved this centre not to remain only within the faculty, but to become in the course of time an inter-disciplinary centre of the University of Bucharest.”
The Patriarch of Romania licensed rev Vlad Toader, iconom stavrofor, for the activity developed within the Romanian – American University, and not only there.
The Primate of our Church awarded the Diploma of Honour of “Saint Andrew the Apostle, Protector of Romania” to the rector and pro – rector of the University, as well as to the deputy dean of the Law Faculty within the University, for the support granted to the construction of the chapel. The rector of the Romanian American University offered a diploma of excellence and a medal of honour to His Beatitude as a sign of gratitude.
The Romanian American University was set up in 1991. 16 years later, a place of prayer was arranged here for the students and the teaching staff too. The chapel’s painting and the two rooms near it were finished last year. On the occasion of this blessing, painter Costel Nacu was awarded the Diploma of worthiness of “Saint Pious Dimitrios the New, Protector of Bucharest”. The Patriarch of Romania has also offered an antimis, a set of holy vessels, a blessing cross, and several liturgical and spiritual books to the place of worship.