The Orthodox Christians commemorate each year on October 14th the feast of St Pious Paraskeva of Iaşi.
His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, was in the middle of the faithful of St Paraskeva – Friday Parish in Drumul Taberei (Camp Road) Neighbourhood of Bucharest, on its dedication day, addressing to the present faithful a sermon.
The Divine Liturgy was officiated by the V. Rev. Archimandrite Veniamin Goreanu, administrative adviser of the Archbishopric of Bucharest, together with an assembly of priests and deacons. A member of the assembly was Rev. Fr. Costel Burlacu, Archpiest of the Deanery of District 6 of Bucharest.
St Pious Paraskeva is loved by the people
In his sermon, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel spoke about the veneration of the Romanian people towards St Pious Paraskeva, underlining the fact that in Bucharest there are 24 places of worship dedicated to this saint.
“There are 24 churches in Bucharest dedicated to St Pious Paraskeva: 22 of them are parish churches, one is St Pious Paraskeva Monastery of the Patriarchal Residence and another is St Pious Paraskeva Skete of Antim Monastery. There are few places in the world where in the same city can be found 24 churches dedicated to a saint. St Pious Paraskeva is loved by the people and this explains why in the capital city of our country exist 24 churches dedicated to her”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said.
St Pious Paraskeva is the greatest proof that God’s grace works through His saints
In his address, the Romanian Patriarch explained that Saints act with the grace of the Most Holy Trinity through their powerful faith in Jesus Christ.
“It is a joy for us to observe the veneration offered to St Pious Paraskeva by the people and especially the help that she grants to people of all classes. She was 27 years old when she passed away to the Lord and therefore is also venerated by many youths. St Pious Paraskeva is the greatest proof that God’s grace works through His saints. Saints don’t diminish, don’t reduce God’s glory, but reveal it in its entire beauty, for the saints act with the grace of the Most Holy Trinity through their strong faith in Jesus Christ, so that the saints we have in the Church are like some flowers of the faith, blooming and reaching full beauty on the field of the Church”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said.
We wish that every faithful who venerates St Pious Paraskeva may feel her help in his life
Nevertheless, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel congratulated everybody named after St Pious Paraskeva, explaining that the presence of the help of saints in the life of the faithful is of great importance in our times.
“We congratulate today all those named Paraskeva or Paraskev and we wish that every faithful who venerates St Paraskeva to feel her help in their life. This great work of the presence of the help of saints in the life of the faithful is of great importance especially today, in a world oriented only to the material aspect, to immediate profit, and doesn’t understand how can faithful endure fatigue, cold, rain and come all the way from great distances to bow down before St Pious Paraskeva”, the Romanian Patriarch exclaimed.
The relics of St Mary Magdalene will be brought to be venerated in Bucharest
In the end, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel announced the present faithful that the relics of the Holy Myrrh-bearer Mary Magdalene that come from Simonopetra Monastery in Holy Mount Athos will be brought from Iaşi to Bucharest, where they will be placed in the Patriarchal Cathedral to be venerated by the faithful.
“The relics of St Mary Magdalene will go back to Greece, starting their journey from Iaşi on October 16th, but will make a halt in Bucharest, from 11 a.m. to 16 p.m. From here they will go to Pantokrator Monastery in Drăgăneşti Vlaşca, the Episcopate of Alexandria and Teleorman, then returning to Simonopetra Monastery in Holy Mount Athos”, the Romanian Patriarch added.
Gifts for St Paraskeva – Friday Parish
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church offered to the church of St Paraskeva – Friday Parish in Bucharest a blessing cross and several service and spiritual books.
In his turn, parish priest Fr. Nicolae Burlan thanked His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel for his presence and offered him an icon of St Nicholas.
In the end, the Patriarch of the Romanian Church visited together with the servant priests the chapel (parekklesion) of the parish, located close to the place of worship.
This parish was founded in the autumn of 1998, according to the decision of the Eparchial Council. On the initiative of Fr. Nicolae Burlan a wooden church was brought from Vicovul de Sus town, Suceava County. This wooden church was consecrated on 26 July 1998. The church is dedicated to St Pious Paraskeva the New.
On 29 September 2002, the foundation stone of a new church dedicated to St Paraskeva (Friday) and St Anthimos the Ivirite was officially laid, burring at the foundation of this church some bricks of the former St Friday Church, which was abusively demolished by the communist regime in 1987. This new church is 37 m long, 23 m high, 33 m wide. On 11 November 2007, in the presence of thousands of believers, the new-built church was consecrated. The service was officiated by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
In this church, there is in a place of honour a reliquary of sculpted wood, containing a vestment with which the relics of St Pious Paraskeva in Iaşi were clothed, some fragments of the relics of St Theodor Stratilates and St Panteleimon, as well as some fragments of the vestment of St John Jacob the Romanian of Hozeva (the Holy Land).