On 8th May 2012, the Orthodox faithful celebrate Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist. He was one of the 12 Apostles of the Saviour and wrote the Gospel of his name, three canonical epistles and the book of the Revelation.
Saint John the Evangelist is also one of the protectors of Cornu Monastery, county of Prahova. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, celebrated the saint patron’s Divine Liturgy at this great feast.
In the sermon delivered and addressed to the faithful present, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church showed that Saint John the Evangelist is known especially as author of some canonical books included in the Holy Scripture: “Saint John the Evangelist, as his name tells is, wrote the fourth canonical Gospel, three Epistles and the book of the Revelation on the end of the world and passage of this world into another form of existence in the new heaven and earth where there will be no more darkness or death, but only the uncreated Light of the love of God. This is why the book of the Revelation is not a frightful book, as wrongly understood, but a book of the Judgement of God of this world dominated by sin and demons. At the same time it is the victory of Jesus Christ over Antichrist who torments and persecutes the Christians. So, the book of the Revelation of Saint John the Evangelist is a book of hope which shows that the last word on history belongs to God Who is the Master of the heaven and earth.
His Beatitude affirmed, among other things, that Saint John the Apostle has the deepest theological thought of the four evangelists, which fact attracted him the name of the Theologian: “The Orthodox Church admitted that the fourth Gospel, according to Saint John the Evangelist and Theologian has the deepest and richest in theological spiritual meanings of all Gospels. This is why its author, Saint John the Evangelist was also called the Theologian because he speaks about the Word of God Who was made man and shown among people. The beginning of his Gospel is read on the Easter day.”
The Patriarch of Romania has also shown, as Trinitas Radio informs us, that Saint John the Evangelist was the youngest, most sensitive, and the Apostle who loved Jesus Christ, the Saviour, most.
“So, when Jesus was taken to crucifixion only one Apostle of the twelve ones remained under the Cross. The one who was the closest to Him at the Last Supper, which was the anticipation of the Mystery of the Holy Cross, of the Saviour’s Sacrifice, was the only one present, of all the Apostles, near the Cross of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. This is why the Saviour said before dying: Son, this is your mother!, and to the Mother of God: Woman, this is your son!, and from that moment on, the beloved disciple took care of the Mother of God. This fact shows us that the Saviour was not indifferent at the time of His death, but He honoured His mother and entrusted her to His most faithful and closest disciple”.
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist has also received the gift to have been the first to see the empty tomb of the Saviour, after His Resurrection from the dead. So, the Christian Church has become the icon of the clergy.
Any ordination as deacon, priest or bishop is done today over the icon of Saint John, also explained the Patriarch of Romania.
“This thing is done just to show that whoever is a shepherd of the Church, a descendent of the Apostles, must be like Saint John the Evangelist, namely to be first of all a lover of Christ, and then to become a lover of the Church too, because the Church is the mysterious Body of Christ”.
After celebrating the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel consecrated a new block of cells of the monastery.
At the same time, His Beatitude laid the foundation stone to a new church. Besides Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist and Saint Pious Eufrosina, the place of worship will have Saint Pious Arsenie the Great as saint patron too. Before the consecration service the Patriarch of Romania said that the Church is the laboratory of salvation and it is here that people get ready for Resurrection.
“The place where we prepare for the Resurrection is the Church, which Saint Maxim the Confessor called, in the 7th century, the Laboratory of Resurrection, while Nicolae Cabasila named the Church the Waiting area of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Porch of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Church is also named the Gate of Heaven and House of God. She represents the Heaven on earth, especially when it is painted, so that she may raise us, the earthen people, to Heaven. Thus, the Divine Liturgy is important, but another very important moment is the consecration of the place of a new church.”
The Primate of our Church offered several presents to the Monastery. On this occasion too, the Patriarch of Romanian awarded the Mayor of Cornu commune the “Saint Andrew the Apostle” diploma of honour, for the support granted to this monastic settlement. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel received the title of “Citizen of Honour” of Cornu commune.