The Canonical Visit of the Patriarch of Romania to the Archdiocese of Ramnic

Church of Romania

On Saturday, 11 October 2014, the Patriarch of Romania began a canonical visit to the Archdiocese of Ramnic. On this occasion, at 12.00 hours, His Beatitude brought in procession the relics of Saint Prince Martyr Constantine Brancoveanu to be venerated by the clergy and faithful of this part of Oltenia.

After meeting His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, a Polichronium service was celebrated.

To end with, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a speech saying that Hurezi Monastery is the most outstanding one founded by the martyr prince Constantine Brancoveanu.

“The relics of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu arrived at his most appreciated, biggest and beautiful foundation. This place of worship is a model of combination of faith, culture and art lasting under the name of Brancovean style: a synthesis between the beauty of the church Eastern art and the moderate monumentality of the architecture and art of Western Europe.

Thus, Saint Constantine Brancoveanu is, somehow, at his most appreciated foundation in the middle of an oasis of calm and quiet which he never found in Bucharest or at Targoviste where he used to go rather often”, His Beatitude said.

Then, His Eminence Varsanufie, Archbishop of Ramnic thanked His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel for having brought the shrine of the relics of Saint Prince Constantine Brancoveanu to Hurezi Monastery.

“Thank you, Your Beatitude, for having blessed the holy relics of the Saint Martyr Constantine Brancoveanu to come here, to Hurezi Monastery. Thank you for having given me the chance to open personally the grave and lay the holy relics in this beautiful shrine and most of all thank you for being present in the Eparchy of Ramnic with us”, His Eminence said.

Re-blessing of Hurezi church monastery

Sunday, 12 October 2014, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania re-blessed the painting of Hurezi Monastery, county of Valcea. 15 hierarchs from the country and abroad celebrated together with him.

As we learn from “Lumina” newspaper, after the blessing of the church painting, His Beatitude delivered a sermon in which he underlined the importance of the divine images in churches and made a parallel between the restoration of the painting in the church and the man’s spiritual restoration through the Holy Sacraments. “This painting inspired the painting of some other churches founded by Saint Martyr Prince Constantine Brancoveanu. These ones found a model of Byzantine painting here, always topical, showing that the church is the symbol of eternity in time. It is a great joy and blessing for us to re-bless the painting of a school of painting. This painting was executed by six painters, two Greeks and four Romanians. May God help us learn the mystery of the renewal of the spiritual life from the renovation of painting. The same as a beautiful painting is covered with dust and smoke in the course of time, so that its initial beauty is no longer visible, so does the baptised Christian receive a new coat, a bright one at baptism, which becomes dark later on because of the sins committed by thought, word of deed, darkening the coat of the soul which needs spiritual restoration to reach the first beauty of the bright coat received at baptism. This restoration of the bright image of man is done through repentance, prayer, communication with the Holy Sacraments and through good deeds. The same as the painting is cleaned of dust and smoke, so are cleansed the sins through the Holy Sacrament of Confession and through the Holy Sacrament of Eucharist, which we venerate in an outstanding way during this Solemn Eucharistic Year”, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church explained.

Then, His Beatitude spoke to those present about the relationship between the sacrifice of the martyrs and the Holy Eucharist, a relationship expressed in the consecration service of the church. “The sacrifice of Christ is the source of spiritual power for all the martyrs who died confessing Him. This is why there is a strong relationship between the mystery of the Church and the mystery of the martyrs. When a church is consecrated, the relics of martyrs are put into the leg of the Holy Table and all the consecration service is dedicated to the veneration of the saints martyrs. Thus, there is a relationship between the sacrifice of the martyrs and the Holy Eucharist expressed in the very service of the consecration of the church. Saint Constantine Brancoveanu offers us, through the re-blessing of the painting of his church over here, his dear church, a new opportunity to relate painting to Eucharist, the heaven come down on the earth, through painting, as well as through our call to spiritually climb to heaven. The Orthodox Church is the one which cultivated most of all the beauty in rite (beauty of painting, of vestments), because the Church on the earth is an icon of the New Jerusalem. This visible beauty of the painting and of the religious services is not a beauty with a purpose in itself, but a beauty which sends us beyond sight, to the beauty unseen, but felt as a joy of the soul”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel underlined.

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Hurezi Monastery

After the re-blessing service, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated.

The following hierarchs celebrated together with the Patriarch of Romania: His Eminence Irineu, Metropolitan of Oltenia, His Eminence Naum, Metropolitan of Ruse, His Eminence Varsanufie, Archbishop of Ramnic, His Eminence Calinic, Archbishop of Arges and Muscel, His Grace Lucian, Bishop of Caransebes, 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 Daniil, Bishop locum tenens of Dacia Felix Diocese, His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, His Grace Andrei Fagarasanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Sibiu, His Grace Paisie, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Timisoara, and His Grace Emilian Lovisteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Ramnic.

To end with the Divine Liturgy, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church spoke to the thousands of pilgrims about the relationship between man’s freedom to pray and his happiness.

“When man prays, it means that he is free. When he is no longer praying it means that something keeps him under unseen domination. This is why we say, Lord, I escaped to You, teach me how to do Your will. Man is really free only when he loves God and his fellow beings. When he hates his fellow beings and forgets about God, he is enslaved, limited, in a state of selfishness and loneliness. This is why lots of people who do no longer pray put up with sufferance and disease very hard, and many of them despair and commit suicide. Scientific studies show that the religious man passes through sufferance much easier than the atheist one”, His Beatitude explained.

The Patriarch of Romania said that only the good merciful man resembles God.

“It is not enough to be pious, you must also be merciful. There are lots of people who are pious, pray and fast a lot, but they are avaricious. They never give a dime, they never help anybody. Thus, Christ, the Lord, says not only that the heart must be pure, but it must also be good, namely the good, merciful man resembles the merciful God”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel also explained.

Hurezi Monastery has been waiting Saint Prince Constantine Brancoveanu for 300 years

His Eminence Irineu, Metropolitan of Oltenia thanked His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel for the fatherly love he has for the Orthodox Church and for having brought the holy relics of Prince Constantine Brancoveanu to the Archdiocese of Ramnic. “We must be really thankful for the gifts God brought through His saints. Hurezi Monastery has been waiting for 300 years for Saint Prince Constantine Brancoveanu, because he had been arranged his grave here. He wanted to be buried like a faithful prince with hierarchs, priests, monks, but God ordered something else and He turned the ordinary grave of the ordinary man into an ever fresh crown in the Kingdom of God. Today he is the one who comes to us. Hurezi Monastery has never been deprived of the presence of the saint, and today we feel his prayer and intercession to the Heavenly Father. Your Beatitude have brought these precious relics and have come together with Saint Constantine Brancoveanu. Some other time the prince used to come accompanied by patriarchs from the East, from Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, but he must have wanted to come with the Patriarch. Today, having come here you fulfill the desire of Saint Constantine. Today is the day the Lord gave to rejoice and be marry!”, His Eminence Irineu said.

The Patriarch of Romania offered particles of the relics of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu to Hurezi Monastery

To end with the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel offered Hurezi Monastery a shrine of particles of the relics of Saint Martyr Constantine Brancoveanu. His Beatitude has also awarded the Order of the “Brancovean Saints Martyrs” to Mr Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, vice-prime minister; to savrofora nun Marina Comaniciu, abbess of Hurezi Monastery; to Mr Stefan Manciulescu, chief architect at the National Commission of Historical Monuments; to Mr Gorea Dumitru, mural painting restorer; to Mr Ioan Sfrijan, restorer at the National Museum of Art of Romania, and to Mr Nicolae Mihai, mural painting restorer at the National Museum of Art of Romania. His Beatitude has also awarded the Order of “Maria Brancoveanu Cross” to Mrs Teodora Ianculescu Spataru, mural painting restorer. His Beatitude has also awarded the homage Diploma of the “Brancovean Saints Martyrs” with medal to Messrs Eugen Stefanescu and Florin Dumitrescu, who made the floor heating system of the place of worship.

The abbess of Hurezi Monastery received an icon of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs on behalf of the Patriarch of Romania. The Patriarch of our Church has also offered several books of rite for the monastery, and an icon of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs with particles of the relics of Saint Prince Constantine to Surpatele and Brancoveni Monasteries. His Eminence Varsanufie offered His Beatitude an icon of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs made at the painting workshops of Hurezi Monastery, and an embroidered cover of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu for the shrine of his holy relics.

Procession around Hurezi church monastery

In the afternoon, at 16.00 hours, the departure ceremony of the holy relics was celebrated. After saying an icos of the Acathistos of the Brancovean Saints and the troparion, the shrine was carried in procession around the big church monastery, and then it was taken to Iasi, for the joy of the faithful of the faithful who gathered from all over the country at the feast of Saint Pious Parascheva.