On 9 February 2015, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church awarded ranks to three priests of the Archdiocese of Bucharest. Rev Grigore Melnic – the new archpriest of Campina Deanery and Rev Mihaita Stroe – the new archpriest of South Ploiesti Deanery were awarded the ranks of iconom stavrofor, while deacon Valentin Niculae – juridical counsellor within the canonical-juridical office of the Archdiocese of Bucharest was ordained archdeacon.
His Beatitude celebrated the religious service in the historical chapel of “Saint Great Martyr George” from the Patriarchal Residence.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a sermon in which he said that the ranks awarded represent encouragement for the future work: “This cross is the arch-priesthood cross, as well as the personal one, because, as Nicolae Iorga said: Any new step climbed is a new altar of sacrifice, namely more effort and responsibility. It is also the hope that you will do good works there and continue the activity begun by your predecessors and increase some of them according to the present needs”.
The iconom stavrofor wears pectoral cross, red girdle, and epigonation during the religious services.