On 24 January we celebrate 156 years since the Union of the Romanian Principalities (1859), a historical event achieved in Bucharest, in a church building, situated on the Metropolitanate Hill, on the place where the Patriarchal Palace is today. The Union of the Romanian Principalities was celebrated today, at the Romanian Patriarchate, through a programme of religious and cultural events.
Te Deum Service
Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Metropolitans Nifon of Walalchia and Sofronie Miclescu of Moldova, as well as the other authors of Union of the Romanian Principalities were remembered at the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Patriarchal Cathedral.
At 10.30 hours, a Te Deum service was celebrated as thanksgiving to God for achieving this great act in the history of the Romanian people to which the Romanian Orthodox Church had an important contribution.
The religious service was celebrated by His Grace Ieronim Sinaitul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, assisted by a group of priests and deacons, in the presence of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch and Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church and His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest were also present in the Patriarchal Cathedral. Academician Ionel-Valenin Vlad, President of the Romanian Academy, Academician Dan Berindei, President of honour of the Historical and Archaeological Department of the Romanian Academy, many academicians, priests and faithful have also attended.
The Union of the Principalities – a Holy Solemn Event in the History of the Romanian People
To end with the Te Deum, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church underlined the importance of this holy solemn event in the history of the Romanian people for which we raised thanksgiving prayers today. “We celebrated, by God’s help, this thanksgiving service for the advantages of the Union of the Principalities, this holy solemn event in the history of the Romanian people which is celebrated this year for the first time as national feast; it is an anniversary of a national feast as a result of the decision of the Romanian Parliament.”
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also shown that this event must be celebrated at the Patriarchate because the Union of the Principalities took place at the Metropolitan Hill, and Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza was anointed as ruling prince of the United Principalities in the Patriarchal Cathedral.
The Union of the Romanian Principalities facilitated the creation of the modern unitary state called Romania
The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also underlined the fact that the Union of the Principalities of 24 January 1859 facilitated the creation of the modern unitary state called Romania: “This holy solemn day for the unity of the Romanian people is very significant and we must say, as we did several times before, that the Union of the Principalities of 24 January 1859, done in Bucharest when the same ruling prince from Moldova became the ruling prince of Wallachia too, is not the small union, but the basic union, while the union of Alba Iulia of 1918 was the top union, and this is why it is called the Great Union. But this is the basic union because it facilitated the creation of the modern unitary state called Romania in 1862. Thus, the United Principalities of 1862 were called Romania. Therefore, this basic union, the basis of the modern state called Romania, is celebrated today in the whole country as national feast”.
“This national day calls us to more unity, to the Romanian feeling and especially to common action for keeping and promoting, enriching and emphasising the values of the Romanian people”, His Beatitude said.
Laying of wreaths of flowers at the Patriarchate Hill
After the Te Deum service, the Patriarch of Romania and all those present in the Patriarchal Cathedral went to the statue of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza situated at the Patriarchate Hill. Here, wreaths of flowers were laid on behalf of the Romanian Patriarchate and of the Romanian Academy.
Scientific session on the theme “Beneficial Consequences of the Union of the Romanian Principalities”
On the occasion of the anniversary of 156 years since the great event which marked the history of our country – the Union of the Romanian Principalities (1859) – Saturday, 24 January 2015, 11.30 hours, the scientific session on the theme “Beneficial consequences of the Union of the Romanian Principalities” was held in the Holy Synod hall of the Patriarchal Residence, organised by the Romanian Patriarchate and by the Romanian Academy.
The session was moderated by academician Ionel Valentin Vlad, President of the Romanian Academy.
To start with the session, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania and member of honour of the Romanian Academy delivered a speech on this event of great importance for the Romanian people. The Patriarch of Romania underlined the fact that the Orthodox Church had a significant contribution to the creation of this union in 1859.
“The Union of the Principalities was achieved at the Metropolitan Hill in a building which belonged to the Metropolitanate, because the Metropolitan of Wallachia was the president of the Deputies’ Assembly, which has been extended since 24 January 1859 and called the Elective Assembly of Wallachia. Very remarkable is the fact that Alexandru Ioan Cuza was elected in Bucharest prince of Wallachia unanimously. A special contribution in this sense was brought by Metropolitan Nifon of Wallachia who asked the members of the Elective Assembly to swear in on the Gospel and cross in front of the icon of the Holy Trinity”, His Beatitude said, as we learn from Trinitas Radio station.
There followed the speech of the President of the Romanian Academy, Ionel Valentin Vlad, who appreciated this event and said that the union of the principalities meant great progress: “Not everything was perfect, but it was a great progress. Two of the institutions who enjoyed the attention of the prince were both the ancient Orthodox Church and the highest forum of the national culture which was forming its profile at the time. This is why it seems natural for us to greet with great joy the fact that our common celebration of the event of 24 January 1959 here, at the historical hill of the Metropolitanate, and marking its great importance and consequences for the later development of the Romanian state has become tradition. The two basic institutions of the state are closely related through the same purposes regarding the promotion of the idea of national unity, cultivation of culture and observation of the great values of the Romanian nation”.
There followed the lecture of academician Dan Berindei, President of honour of the Historical and Archaeological Department of the Romanian Academy, who underlined the fact that the consequences of the Union of 1859 were huge.
The second lecture was delivered by His Grace Varlaam Plloiesteanu, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch. He referred to the interventions of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, of the Romanian Government and Parliament sustained by the Orthodox hierarchy of the principalities for getting the full church independence. All these things can be seen in the correspondence of the ruling prince with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Then, the participants made interventions on the communications presented. Academicians Eugen Simion, Nicolae Breban, Sabina Ispas, Emilian Popescu and Octavian Lazar Cozma delivered speeches too.
The scientific session dedicated to the union of the Romanian Principalities ended with an artistic programme. Actor Dorel Visan recited poems by the national poet Mihai Eminescu.
This was the third year when the Day of the Union of the Principalities was marked through a scientific session organised by the Romanian Patriarchate and by the Romanian Academy.