His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has sent a message for the Sunday of the Romanian Migrants, which will be marked this year on August 16.
The Sunday of the Romanian Migrants is celebrated in the Romanian Patriarchate on the first Sunday after the Dormition of the Theotokos.
Responsibility, hope and solidarity in times of pandemic: Full text
The year 2020 was declared by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church as the Solemn Year of the pastoral care of parents and children and the Commemorative Year of the Romanian Orthodox Philanthropists in the Romanian Patriarchate. These two themes, solemn and commemorative, highlight two coordinates with major importance in church life and activity.
The proclamation of 2020 as the Solemn Year of Pastoral Care of Parents and Children aims to promote biblical and patristic landmarks on the pastoral care of parents and children, and the Christian family model, as well as to emphasise the role of Christian pedagogy in contemporary society, adding that in the context of multiple pastoral challenges the church has a responsibility to identify and apply solutions that can help the Christian family in general.
The Christian family has always occupied a central place in our Orthodox teaching, representing the most precious intimate setting for cultivating conjugal, parental, filial, and fraternal love. It is a blessing and an icon of God’s love for humanity, a sacred space of the work of the grace of the Most Holy Trinity oriented towards life and eternal love.
In the family, the relationship between children and parents is understood especially from the perspective of man’s relationship with God. Children are not only born for earthly life but are also born to become, through Baptism, sons and daughters of God by grace (John 1:12-13) and to gain eternal life in the Kingdom of the love of the Most Holy Trinity.
The spiritual growth of children and young people, through the simultaneous cultivation of freedom and responsibility, is essential in human society. The Holy Gospel and Church Tradition stress the importance of the connection between the spiritual life and the social activity of man, between prayer and action, between devotion and generosity, between the Divine Liturgy and Philanthropy.
We live today in a world where materialistic individualism is making its presence felt more and more, and people are looking more for transient material wealth than for the spiritual richness of faith and generosity.
At the same time, we are going through an extremely difficult period as regards health and the value of life, in which a lot of people are affected by the new epidemic, which has spread globally, a time when there is a great need for prayer and brotherly help, closeness to God and practical solidarity.
This period shows us how fragile human life is on earth and, therefore, how much it is needed to keep in touch with God, the Source of earthly life and eternal heavenly life. Therefore, it is necessary to turn this period of medical crisis into a period of strengthening our faith through prayer and increasing our love for our fellow people through good works.
Let us enlighten our lives through prayer, by reading the Holy Scriptures, by confession and by more frequent communion, but also by all the good deeds, to help the sick, the old and the poor.
Today, the Romanian Orthodox Church systematically and substantially contributes to alleviating people’s suffering, through the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral work, and through the work of social and philanthropic assistance.
Many categories of disadvantaged people, sick people, children from poor and dependent families or with parents working in other countries, single elderly people abandoned by their families, women victims of human trafficking or victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, drug users or having other types of addictions, unemployed, poor and other people, are supported through many programs and social projects carried out at the level of the Romanian Patriarchate.
To these are added both the religious assistance carried out by the charity priests in the military units, penitentiaries, hospitals and social establishments, as well as the social-philanthropic activity of the volunteers from the parishes.
On the occasion of the Sunday of the Romanian Migrants, we congratulate all the hierarchs and servants of the Romanian Orthodox Holy Altars abroad for their pastoral and missionary work, for the preservation and cultivation of the Orthodox Christian faith, of Romanian spirituality and identity, as preachers of philanthropy and communion, and merciful fathers of those in need.
We express gratitude and appreciation to all those who support the pastoral, educational and social-philanthropic activities of the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as to all the merciful or generous Orthodox Romanians.
We urge them to continue with great zeal and joy their generous and useful work, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the benefit of the Romanian people.
With much appreciation and fatherly blessing,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu