On 13 May 2012, the 5th Sunday after the Holy Easter, named of the Samarinean woman, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church re-consecrated the church of Saint Basil the Great and of Saint Pious Parascheva situated in Cotroceni district of Bucharest, assisted by a group of priests and deacons, after the restoration and bedecking works made during the last few years.
On the occasion of the re-consecration, the place of worship has received one more dedication day: the Sunday of the Romanian Saints. Many faithful attended the religious service.
Further on, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the Divine Liturgy assisted by a group of priests and deacons. After reading the evangelical pericope of Saint Evangelist John, chapter 4, lines 5 – 42, His Beatitude delivered a sermon in which he emphasised its spiritual truths: “The Gospel shows us, first of all, that the living water the Saviour speaks about is the saving grace given to all those who believe in Jesus Christ, who receive the baptism and learn to pray God-the-Father, worshipping Him and the Son and the Holy Spirit, if they pray in spirit and truth.
They will pray in the Holy Spirit and confess Christ, the Way, Truth and Life. The saving grace is named – after the Gospel according to John – the living water, the water that gives eternal life. The second truth of today’s Gospel is the fact that Jesus Christ, our Saviour, changes mentalities and attitudes. He changes mentalities of hostility into attitudes of dialogue and cooperation. He considers a woman of a different nation and faith worthy of conversation. He also changes mentalities or breaks down the barrier of the Samarineans’ complex of inferiority towards the Jews as well as the barrier of the complex of superiority of the Jews towards the Samarineans, just as He breaks down the barrier of superiority of the man towards woman, calling to holiness not only men but also women.”
His Beatitude spoke about the example of the Samaritan woman: ”Jesus Christ, our Saviour, shows us, in today’s Gospel one more truth: the saving grace, the living water which springs from Him and changes the people’s lives. Thus, a pagan sinful woman believes in Christ, brings a whole city to Him, becomes missionary, recognises the mistakes of her life and changes her life. This woman who converts herself, who believes in Christ, represents all the pagan nations who will believe in Christ and will join His Church. The Gospel also shows us that Christ, our Lord, has not come only for the Judaeans’ salvation, but also for the salvation of all peoples. All peoples are called to salvation by Jesus Christ”.
The Patriarch of Romania has also shown the importance of the consecration of a place of worship in the life of the faithful: “We have consecrated here a Gate of Heaven, a House of the Lord and an Icon of the Heavenly Jerusalem we are making for. The time consecrated in the Church is the foretaste of the holy never ending time of the Kingdom of Heaven. The sacred time when we pray is the foretaste of Heaven, and this is why the Church was named the Heaven on the Earth, especially when it is painted. So, the consecration of the church entrusted us a duty, namely to follow the faith of the saints martyrs we have remembered so many times and whose relics were laid in the leg of the Holy Table. Let us follow the faith of all the saints we have seen painted in icons, let us glorify together with Saint Apostles and confess together with them the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. This church calls us to a strengthening and confessing of the faith and, at the same time, to a spiritual renewal and bedecking”.
To end with the Divine Liturgy, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church awarded the title of iconomos stavrofor to the parish priest Valentin Stefan, the order of “Sanctus Stephanus Magnus” to the former parish priest, and diplomas of worthiness to the faithful who helped with the restoration and bedecking of the holy place of worship. His Beatitude offered a blessing Cross and several books of service for the church of Saint Basil the Great – Cotroceni.
To end with, the few hundred of faithful who attended the religious service passed through the new consecrated altar, according to tradition.