Church of Romania
26 December 2014, the Orthodox Church is on the second Christmas day. On this day, the Synaxis of the Mother of God and Saint Pious Nicodim of Tismana are celebrated.
In the sermon delivered in the chapel of “Saint Gregory the Enlightener” of the Patriarchal Residence, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania spoke about the feast of the Synaxis of the Mother of God, and about Saint Nicodim from Tismana.
The Mother of God is worshipped first of all because she is the Birth Giver of God
This feast has a special significance because the Synaxis of the Mother of God is the feast of the synaxis of the Christians who gather to worship the Mother of God just after the feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ because Christ was born as man through the Mother of God, the Patriarch of Romania explained.
“The synaxis of the Mother of God is a special honour that the Church brings to the Mother of God because the Son of the Eternal God, the Saviour of the world, was born by her. Following her consent the Son of God was conceived as man from the body of the Virgin, through the work of the Holy Spirit. As a result of her free consent for the work of the Holy Spirit, she gave body to the Eternal Son of God, the unseen, unlimited and made him limited, visible and close to the people. This is the great mystery of the Nativity of Infant Jesus by Virgin Mary after He was conceived through the work of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Mother of God is worshipped first of all because she is the Birth Giver of God. She gave birth to the Son of the Eternal God and has this great holy name of Birth Giver of God also because she has not lost her virginity through birth, having been called everlasting Virgin Mary”, His Beatitude said.
The Mother of God is the icon of the Church, who bears Christ inside her and shows Him to the world
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also shown that the Mother of God is the icon of the Church, who bears Christ inside her and shows Him to the world: “The Mother of God is the icon of the Church, who bears Christ inside her and shows Him to the world, as she said at the wedding party of Cana Galilee: Do whatever He tells you to; this is her sermon. She has not a sermon parallel with that of Christ, but she shows Christ to the world and says: Do whatever He tells you to. In our icons, the Mother of God holds Infant Jesus on her left arm, close to her heart, who sits on her arm as on a throne. She shows Him with her right hand and while she is showing Him and praying, she receives His blessing. Thus, we understand that the prayerful Church, whose living prayerful icon is the Mother of God, lives from the blessing of her Son, from the blessing of Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Saint Pious Nicodim From Tismana – Reorganiser Of The Romanian Cynobite Monasticism
Today the Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Pious Nicodim from Tismana. The Patriarch of Romania has also spoken in his sermon about the life and activity of this great saint who raised several monasteries in the Romanian territory, among which Tismana Monastery.
“In 1369, he came to Wallachia crossing the River Danube and starting organising the monastic life, with the blessing of Saint Iachint, Metropolitan of Wallachia, according to the principles of the Holy Mount Athos, and founded the Monasteries of Motru and Vodita. In 1378, he founded Tismana Monastery through divine revelation where he gathered lots of disciples whom he taught the deep spiritual life of obedience, work and prayer”, His Beatitude said.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel underlined the fact that Saint Nicodim from Tismana is the re-organiser of the Romanian cenobyte monasticism: “Saint Nicodim from Tismana is venerated as an organiser or re-organiser of the Romanians’ monastic life. It should not be forgotten that there were other monasteries in the entire Wallachia and Banat before him, such as Hodos-Bodrog Monastery, which has had an uninterrupted activity from 1177 till today, thus much earlier than the reorganisation of the monasticism by Saint Pious Nicodim from Tismana. Yet, he is considered the renewer or re-organiser of the Romanian cenobyte monasticism and as protector of Oltenia.
Coming from the South of the River Danube, from the small locality Prilep, not far from Decani Monastery, Saint Nicodim was born in 1320 to parents righteous and obedient to God, from the nation of cneaz Lazar, emperor of the Slavs.