Sunday, the 3rd after the Holy Easter, the Church remembers the Myrrh Bearing Women. While visiting the community of Tiganesti Monastery of Ilfov county, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel spoke about the courage of the myrrh bearing women and about the importance of their example for every one of us.
“The Gospel shows us that they have great courage, love and special appreciation for Christ who inspires them to go to the grave at dawn facing any sort of danger especially the fear of unknown things. These women impress us first of all through their courage generated by their great love and appreciation for Christ, by their respect and devotion for Him. Secondly, the myrrh bearing women show us their faith that Christ was risen. As soon as the angel told them: “He is not here. He has been raised” they never doubted and never asked any question about how the Resurrection took place. They did not understand how the Resurrection of Christ occurred, but they believed what the angel told them” His Beatitude said,
The myrrh bearing women have become true teachers of the Church through their faith, courage and lowliness, His Beatitude Patriarch also said.
“The fact that the myrrh bearing women venerated Him when they first met Him, bowing down to the ground makes them become our teachers in regard to our Christian behaviour towards the Christ risen from the dead. In the Holy Altar, the Holy Table symbolises the Grave of Christ where from He was risen, as well as the Last Supper, because it is on this Holy Table that the Eucharist is celebrated, where the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the Lord. We have learned from the myrrh bearing women that when we come close to the Christ Crucified, buried and raised from the dead symbolised by the Holy Table in the Altar to bow down to the ground and kiss the place where his feet were when He was in the grave as well as the place where He is most intensely present through the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, of the Holy Communion”.
The myrrh bearing women represent the icon of the Church because they hope in God.
“Who will roll away the stone of the grave? This question is repeated in life every time we do not receive any help from those around. Those who should help us are absent or are no longer willing to do it. And because there was nobody to help them God Himself helped them through His angel. That happens when man’s only hope is the help of God. Therefore, the myrrh bearing women are, for this reason, the icon of the Church which hopes in the help of God and then in the humans’ help. This is why we say God help me when we begin some work. We rely on God’s help first of all”.
The myrrh bearing women have become models for many Christian women who followed their example.
“Today we remember especially all the Christian women because the Sunday of the women bearing spices or very precious myrrh is the Sunday of the Christian women too. We have lots of mothers who gave birth to many children. For example, Lady Maria Brancoveanu had 11 children: 4 sons and 7 daughters. When her husband was beheaded on 15 August, just on his birthday when he was 60 years old, in 1714, the mother of these children was in prison with her daughters of Constantinople where she suffered a lot. After she was released from prison lady Maria Brancoveanu endeavoured to bring the remains of the martyr prince Constantine Brancoveanu and lay them in his church of Bucharest, in the church of Saint George the New. This year it is 300 years since their martyr’s death. Here is a sacrificial mother who gave birth to 11 children, was present at Constantinople when 4 of her children were beheaded together with her husband, prince Constantin Brancoveanu, and still had the courage and special devotion for the Church founding holy places of worship”.
To end with, the Patriarch of Romania addressed all the Christian women words of gratitude and blessing for their beneficial work in the family, Church and society. His Beatitude has also congratulated the monastic community and offered several books recently published, and the Pastoral letter and small icons to the nuns and faithful present in the church.
“Today we think of the crowd of Christian mothers, as well as of the many mothers and sisters in monasteries. We think of the many women who work in hospitals looking after the sick, of the many women teaching religion as well as other disciplines, of the social workers, of the crows of women who work in institutions of culture, in media and in other fields of society as well, showing their faith in Christ, love for their family, for the Church, and their joy to confess Christ Crucified and Raised from the dead because feel His help in their lives. On the occasion of this Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women we wish to congratulate, thank and convey our best wishes to all Christian women, praying Jesus Christ, our Lord Risen from the dead to give us good health and salvation, peace and joy for many blessed years to come”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said.
To end with, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel remembered the collect for helping the Christian from Syria, because this was the second Sunday when it was organised.