Seven Years of Patriarchy of His Beatitude Daniel Celebrated at the Patriarchate

On 30 September 2014, His Beatitude Daniel celebrates seven years since his enthronement as Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church (30 September 2007)

The Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral

Today, at anniversary time, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral. The celebrating group consisted of the following hierarchs, members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church: His Eminence Teofan, Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina, His Eminence Laurentiu, Metropolitan of Transylvania, His Eminence Andrei, Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramures and Salaj, His Eminence Irineu, Metropolitan of Oltenia, His Eminence Petru, Metropolitan of Bessarabia and Exarch of the Territories, His Eminence Serafim, Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Germany, Central and Northern Europe, His Eminence Iosif, Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Western and Southern Europe, His Eminence Irineu, Archbishop of Alba Iulia, His Eminence Ciprian, Archbishop of Buzau and Vrancea, His Eminence Calinic, Archbishop of Arges and Muscel, His Eminence Casian, Archbishop of Lower Danube, His Eminence Timotei, Archbishop of Arad, His Eminence Ioan, Bishop of Covasna and Harghita, His Grace Corneliu, Bishop of Husi, His Grace Lucian, Bishop of Caransebes, His Grace Sofronie, Bishop of Oradea, His Grace Nicodim, Bishop of Severin and Strehaia, His Grace Galaction, Bishop of Alexandria and Teleorman, His Grace Ambrozie, Bishop of Giurgiu, His Grace Sebastian, Bishop of Slatina and Romanati, His Grace Visarion, Bishop of Tulcea, His Grace Petroniu, Bishop of Salaj, His Grace Gurie, Bishop of Deva and Hunedoara, His Grace Daniil, Bishop locum tenens of Dacia Felix, His Grace Siluan, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Hungary, His Grace Siluan, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Italy, His Grace Timotei, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Spain and Portugal, His Grace Macarie, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe, His Grace Mihail, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand, His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, His Grace Ieronim Sinaitul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, His Grace Andrei Fagarasanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Sibiu, His Grace Antonie of Orhei, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Chisinau, His Grace Sofian Brasoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of Germany, Austria and Luxemburg, His Grace Emilian Lovisteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Ramnic, His Iustin Sigheteanul, Vicar Hierarch to the Diocese of Maramures and Satmar, assisted by a group of priests and deacons.

During the Divine Liturgy prayers were said for the rest of the soul of Metropolitan Nicolae of Banat, who passed away Sunday, 28 September 2014.

Te Deum at 7 years of Patriarchy

After the Divine Liturgy, a Te Deum service was celebrated in the Patriarchal Cathedral, in the presence of the Patriarch of Romania and of the hierarchs present, as thanksgiving for the benefits bestowed over the Romanian Orthodox Church, Romanian people and over His Beatitude during the seven years of patriarchal service. The religious service was celebrated by His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, assisted by a group of priests and deacons.

To end with, a congratulatory message was delivered on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The message was read by His Grace Sofronie, Bishop of Oradea.

“Our few words have tried to reflect at least a little bit of the light that Your Beatitude spread among us with kindness and justice, elegance and sobriety, intelligently and efficiently, both discreet and brilliant, strong and courageous, our father so much waited by the people wishing wisdom and salvation, the Arch-shepherd and teacher of people at the beginning of the Christian millennium, professor of our consciences, our Primate, of all the Romanian Orthodox faithful of the country and abroad, at the helm of the holy ship, of the Church, leading it to the shore of salvation, chairing the solemn Liturgy that you celebrate in time and no time, when serving the Lord and when celebrating the Liturgy after the Liturgy on the altar of the brother’s heart, the contemporary man wishing to be saved, to know, and enjoy. We thank God for everything, for the gift that He generously offered to His people seven years ago, calling you to exemplary service and full dedication”, His Grace said.

Then, the Bishop of Oradea offered the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, on behalf of the members of the Holy Synod, a shrine made at the Workshops of the Romanian Patriarchate and an icon of the Mother of God.

“At this time of great spiritual joy and emotion, we kindly ask Your Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, to receive, on behalf of the hierarchs of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, a special shrine made in the Workshops of the Holy Patriarchate, Workshops of the Bible and Orthodox Mission Institute, namely the scale model of the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation, as symbol of our gratitude”, His Grace Sofronie, Bishop of Oradea said.

The event continued with a thanksgiving speech of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.

“We thank Your Grace, Bishop Sofronie, for the beautiful words you addressed us and for the activities mentioned, which we unfolded together with the Holy Synod, with the clergy, monks and nuns, and faithful of the entire Romanian Patriarchate. First of all, this achievement is the fruit of the Grace of the Most Holy Trinity of Christ amid the Romanian people, so that we wish to thank, as we did at the Te Deum service, the Most Holy Trinity for all this spiritual work, a deifying work, an elevating one in the light of the Kingdom of Heaven. We wish to thank the state authorities who helped and keep on helping us. We also thank the collaborators of the Holy Synod Office, of the Patriarchal Administration, of the Archdiocese of Bucharest and all those who helped us in one way or another with this missionary work so necessary today. We are glad to have here present hierarchs from abroad, who are very active, and who developed lots of new parishes and monasteries. We thank all those who brought more joy to the new eparchies and parishes set up during the last seven years, and certainly to the cultural, social philanthropic institutions which the entire Church appreciates and which prove our appreciation for the Romanian people”, the Patriarch of Romania said.

As we raise the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation we also raise ourselves in the dignity of Orthodox Christians and of Christian people

The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also spoken about the most important project he has focused on since his enthronement as Patriarch of Romania: the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation.

“Seven years passed very quickly. This morning I listened to Trinitas Radio Station to a fragment of the enthronement speech and I noticed that a part of the projects proposed at the time have been achieved and the greatest project announced at the time has been begun: the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation. It is a very expensive work and very attractive too because once the Cathedral is raised we also raise in the dignity of Orthodox Christians and of Orthodox people Christian ever since its birth in the history. This Cathedral will be dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord and Day of the Romanian Heroes and will have Saint Andrew the First Called to Apostleship, Protector of Romania, as saint patron, a saint celebrated on the eve of the National Day, 1 December. Thus, on 30 November we celebrate Saint Andrew the Apostle, the First Called, Protector of Romania and on 1 December the day of our national unity. It means that the spiritual unity of the Romanian people cultivated in the Church was a solid foundation for achieving the state unity later on, on 1 December 1918”, His Beatitude said.

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel underlined in his speech the fact that the close relationship between spiritual and social is the first concern of all the hierarchs, clergy, monks and nuns of the Romanian Patriarchate: “The spirituality is the source of the grace of God, while the social work shows the grace of God working in the deeds of merciful love. This merciful love of the Most Holy Trinity shown to us through the Cross and Resurrection of Christ and His Ascension to Heaven, is the life of the Church”.

The Patriarch of Romania has also spoken about the work that must be done to meet the requirements of our time.

“The day of Saint Gregory the Enlightener, who converted a whole people to Christianity after he was persecuted, is a day in which we feel rather intensely the light of the grace of God working in the Church of His Son, in the Church of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. This is the light that we gather in our soul. When we pass into the heavenly world we do not take anything from round with us, but the light of prayer, of repentance and of the good deeds. This light of the grace working in the human being is our spiritual dowry, and this is why our books say that the righteous will shine in the Kingdom of God just like the enlighteners. Here is the crowd of saints as enlighteners and we enrich ourselves with the spiritual never setting and everlasting light with their help and through the light of their lives, writings and good deeds. We wish everybody much light in the souls, help of God in every good deed and let us think not so much of what we have done, but of what it is still to be done and let us look around because every good thing begun must be finished and many others must be begun to meet the needs of our time. We are thinking of the people from the cities, but most of all of the Romanian villages which are getting old, of lots of children who need encouragement, especially of continuing the programmes “Christ shared to the children and Choose school!, as well as of other programmes of the Church for encouraging the youth and for conveying the youth the Light of Christ and love of the Love of the Most Holy Trinity”, the Patriarch of Romania said.

His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul has also offered His Beatitude a hierarchic mitre on behalf of the standing meeting of the Church National Council and of the Standing Meeting of the Eparchial Council of the Archdiocese of Bucharest.

Congratulatory Messages

There followed the message of the President of Romania, Mr Traian Basescu, read by presidential counsellor Razvan Murgeanu: “On the occasion of the festivity that marks the anniversary of seven years since the enthronement of Your Beatitude as Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church I have the great pleasure to address you most sincere congratulations and best wishes of good health, long life and fruitful service in the highest dignity entrusted to you in the Romanian Orthodox Church.

It is a very important moment for the Orthodox Christians of Romania and from abroad, for the Romanian Orthodox Church and for the entire society who enjoyed all this time the extensive dialogue that Your Beatitude encouraged in the spirit of the Christian values, implementing it in important projects in the social, philanthropic, cultural and educational fields. It is the sign that the Church keeps her essential role in the formation of the new generations and orientation of the public spirit to the common welfare.

On the occasion of this festivity I would like to evoke, with sincere emotion, the day when the Holy Synod elected you Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The years passed ever since confirmed a partnership that we built together, starting from the mutual confidence and the responsibility that we share towards the society we live in and especially towards the young people who need support to accomplish a double vocation, so necessary in the contemporary world, as faithful and as citizens too. I think that the role of the ethics inspired by the values of Christianity becomes so much the more important in the public space, given the fact that the international climate and evolution of things close to Romania which face us with new challenges, of which solutions can be reached only through dialogue, solidarity and sincere desire to cultivate peace, safety and prosperity of all people.

I am sure that you will continue the projects important for the Romanian Orthodox Church and that you will sustain just as you did so far, the unity of the Romanians from everywhere, especially of those of the Romanian communities abroad who continue to fight for the freedom to express their faith. The Diaspora of the Romanian Orthodoxy has significantly grown during the last few years and I am glad because the Romanian Patriarchate had met this reality organising new dioceses and parishes, emphasising in this way the role that the Romanian Orthodox Church can have in Europe.

The Romanian Orthodoxy represents a spiritual patrimony, a precious tradition that we ought to re-discover in the light of the modern time, to understand its depth in order to consider it a landmark in our activity, in our everyday life. I am sure that we have won, during the last few years, more confidence in the capacity to work together, in the spirit of respect and of generosity towards the real needs of those who ask for our help.

May this anniversary time be for Your Beatitude and for all the Orthodox faithful an occasion of joy and of reflection on what we can achieve together, for a better future!”

The message of Mr Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of the Romanian Government, was read by Mr Victor Opaschi, State Secretary for Religious Affairs in the Romanian Government: “Today is a day of joy for the Orthodox Church and for all the Romanian Orthodox faithful, at the anniversary of seven years since the enthronement of Your Beatitude as Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In 2007, the Romanian Orthodox Church received a new shepherd, a scholar hierarch, dynamic, and always attentive to the signs of the time, with a long pastoral experience in the Metropolitanate of Moldova and Bucovina.

While ascending the patriarchal throne in Bucharest, you came with a well established programme for a Church present and active in society, for a Church working both spiritually, for saving the souls, and practically, for meeting the needs, educating the youth, promoting culture and for participating in the life of the society through many ways, through the Orthodox mass-media as well.

Time confirmed the fact that you followed this programme step by step, making the Church you are serving get back the role she is entitled to in society. All these years, the Romanian Orthodox Church followed and deepened her vocation to become an important partner of the state in the development of the projects and social and educational programmes, using her spiritual experience to put them in the service of the people. The Romanian Orthodox Church has become one more time, a living presence, accompanying the faithful and the entire Romanian society in their everyday life, as well as a landmark giving hope and confidence in the future.

Your Beatitude, I avail of this occasion to assure you of all our appreciation and of that of the Romanian government as well, for all your activity as Patriarch, wishing you a fruitful service in the future too, so that you may continue the view that has animated you ever since you ascended the patriarchal throne, for the welfare of the Romanian Orthodox Church and of the entire Romanian society.”

On 30 September 2014, the sixth Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church was enthroned in the person of His Beatitude Daniel. The Patriarch of Romania was born on 22 July 1951, to parents Alexe and Stela Ciobotea, in Dobresti village, Bara commune, county of Timis. He was baptised Dan-Ilie. He studies at the University Theological Institute of Sibiu (1970 – 1974), attends the doctorate courses at the University Orthodox Theological Institute of Bucharest, systematic section, studies at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Human Sciences of Strasbourg – France (1976 – 1978), then at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of “Albert Ludwig” University of Freiburg in Breisgau – Germany (1978 – 1980). On 15 June 1979 he delivers his doctorate thesis at the University of Strasboug, entitled: Réflexion et vie chrétiennes aujourd’hui. Essai sur le rapport entre la théologie et la spiritualité (424 p).

On 6 August 1987, he joins the monastic life at Sihastria Monastery, county of Neamt, with the name of Daniel, and with rev Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie as monastic godfather; on 1 July 1990, he is enthroned Archbishop of Iasi and Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina; on 12 September 2007, he is elected Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudgea and Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church; on 30 September 2007, he is enthroned Patriarch in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest.