On Friday, 22 July 2011, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates his 60th birthday.
On the occasion of this anniversary event, at 8.00 o’clock, the Patriarch of Romania will consecrate the painting and alter screen recently renovated of the historical chapel dedicated to “Saint Great George, Saint Prophet Daniel and Pious Parascheva” of the Patriarchal Residence.
At 11.00 o’clock, the Te Deum service will be celebrated in the Patriarchal Cathedral as thanksgiving to God for the benefactions bestowed over His Beatitude, over the Romanian Orthodox Church and over the Romanian people.
At 12.00 o’clock, an anniversary event will take place in “Patriarch Teoctist” Aula Magna of the Patriarchal Palace dedicated to the anniversary of 60 years of life of the Patriarch of Romania, which will include the launching of an anniversary book, as well as the presentation of a documentary made by Trinitas Television station of the Romanian Patriarchate.
The Patriarch of Romania was born on 22 July 1951, in Dobreşti village, Bara commune, Tomiş county, as the third child to the family of teacher Alexie and Stela Ciobotea.
He attended the primary school in his native village (1958 – 1962), Dobreşti, and the secondary school in Lăpuşnic locality (1962 – 1966), county of Timiş. In 1966 he attended the high school courses in Buziaş city, which he continued in Lugoj city, at “Coriolan Brediceanu” High School (1967 – 1970).
After passing the school leaving examination he becomes a student of the University Theological Institute of Sibiu (1970 – 1974), where he is awarded the graduation Diploma in theology (with special stress on the New Testament).
From 1974 – 1976 he attends the post-graduate courses for a doctor’s degree at the University Theological Institute of Bucharest, systematic section, under the supervision of Rev. Prof. Dr. Dumitru Stăniloae. He continues his studies abroad: two years at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Humanist Sciences of Strasbourg (France, 1976 – 1978) and two years at “Albert Ludwig” University in Feiburg im Brisgau, Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology (Germany, 1978 – 1980).
On 15 June 1979, he maintains his doctorate theses at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of Strasbourg, entitled: Réflexion et vie chrétiennes aujourd’hui. Essai sur le rapport entre la théologie et la spiritualité, VII, p. 424. The thesis was prepared under the supervision of two well-known French professors, Gerard Ziegwald and André Benoit, and passed with the greatest mark. He becomes doctor of the University of Strasbourg.
An extended version of this thesis entitled “Christian Theology and Spirituality. The relation between them and the present the present state of things” (Photo 1), was prepared under the supervision of his mentor, Rev. Prof. Dr. Dumitru Stăniloae, and maintained on 31 October 1980 at the University Theological Institute of Bucharest,
After passing the oral examination and presentation of the thesis, scholar Dan-Ilie Ciobotea was declared Doctor in Orthodox theology with the greatest mark too. On this occasion, Rev. Prof. Dr. Dumitru Stăniloae said: “The thesis presented proved the examination commission they had a well prepared candidate in front of them, well informed and most of all proving the desire and endeavour to live a deeply spiritual theological life. It is this kind of people that we need, people wishing to live according to the teaching of our Church. The true spirituality of the priest is to live so as he may answer the questions of today’s man, and remain a true priest too. Priests without theological culture and not living the sublime dignity and mission of priesthood would only estrange the faithful people from the Church.”
On 6 August 1987, he becomes a monk at the Monastery of Sihăstria, with the name of Daniel, having Pious Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie as monastic godfather (Photo 2). On 15 August 1987, Patriarch Teoctist (Photo 3) ordained him hieromonk on the occasion the celebration of the dedication day of Putna Monastery. On 16 October 1988, on the occasion of the re-consecration of Sihăstria Monastery, His Beatitude Teoctist awarded him the rank of protosingelos, and later on of archimandrite (photo 4).
He was appointed Patriarchal Counsellor for the Department of “Contemporary Theology and Ecumenical Dialogue” (1 September 1988 – 1 March 1990); during the same period he taught at the chair of Christian Mission of the Orthodox University Theological Institute of Bucharest. On 12 February 1990 he is elected Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Timişoara, with the title of “Lugojanul”, and ordained on 4 March 1990. (photo 5).
On 7 June 1990, he was elected Archbishop of Iaşi and Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina (installed on 1 July 1990 – photo 6). Having been in this dignity, he re-established, just in the autumn of 1990, the Faculty of Theology of “Dumitru Stăniloae” of Iaşi, with several sections, where he taught Dogmatic Theology, from 1992 till 2007. Next years, he set up several seminaries at: Agapia Monastery (1991), Botoşani (1992), Dorohoi (1993), Iaşi (1995), Piatra Neamţ (1996) and post-high school sanitary theological schools in Piatra Neamţ (1993) and Iaşi (1994). He has also created several cultural institutions, among which: the Orthodox Academy of “Saint John of Neamţ” (1993), the T.A.B.O.R. Metropolitan Centre of Research (1994), Cultural-Pastoral Centre of “Saint Daniil the Hermit” at Durău (1995), the Ecumenical Library of “Dumitru Stăniloae” (1995), “Trinitas” Cultural Missionary Institute (editorial office, printing house and radio) at Golia Monastery of Iaşi (1997), “Resurrectio” Centre of Conservation and Restoration of the religious patrimony (1998), all of them endowed with new modern equipment. He supervised the printing of tens of theological works, manuals for the university theological education, books of guidance for the faithful, lives of saints etc. He gave a new profile to the metropolitan magazine, which has appeared since 1990 by the name of “Metropolitan See of Moldova and Bucovina – Theology and Life, magazine of thought and spirituality”; he initiated the official bulletin of “Candela Moldovei”. New monasteries were set up, especially sketes, all over the eparchy, so that today, the Archdiocese of Iaşi has over one hundred monastic settlements (photo 7), most of them with new churches and outbuildings. Tens of new churches were built and consecrated under his supervision, in Iaşi and in other cities too, especially in the rural parishes; the old ones were renovated and painted (photo 8). He has also set up several social charitable institutions, among which: Association of the Orthodox Physicians and Chemists of Romania (1993), Dentistry Consulting Room of “Saint Pantelimon” of Iaşi (1993), “Diaconia” Social-Charitable Department (1994), Policlinic Dispensary of “Saints Peter and Paul the Apostles” (1998), “Providence” Centre of Diagnosis and Treatment (2000), “Providence II” Centre of Medical Education and Information (2002), “Solidarity and Hope” Foundation (2002), “Diaconia” Social-Charitable Institute (2003), canteens for poor people in Iaşi, Paşcani, Dorohoi, Hârlău etc. He has been an active supporter of some Christian Orthodox Associations: of students (ASCOR), of youth (LTOR), of women (SNFOR), of intellectuals (FOR) etc. He is involved in liturgical and pastoral actions, bringing especially saints’ relics in Iaşi, mostly from Greece. He contributed directly to the canonisation of 18 Moldavian saints: Saint Prince Steven the Great, Pious Daniil the Hermit, Metropolitan Saints Varlaam and Dosoftei, a series of pious monks of the monasteries of Moldova. The celebration of Saint Pious Parascheva has become a true feast of entire Moldova, which gathers hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at her relics. He is the initiator of many symposiums with theological and historical profile and of commemorative festivities, of some pilgrimages to Mount Athos, Greece, Constantinople, Jerusalem (photo 9).
As Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina he represented our Church in tens of ecumenical meetings (for example he headed the Romanian delegation at the 7th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Canberra, Australia, 1991), or was a member of the synodal delegations headed by Patriarch Teoctist who visited other Christian Churches (for example Jerusalem, in 2000, Vatican and Italy, in 2002); as member of the Executive and Central Committee of the World Council of Churches he participated in various sessions of these bodies; vice-president of the 11th General Assembly of the Conference of the European Churches (Graz, 1997), member or president of honour of various non-governmental organisations.
On 12 September 2007, he is elected Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudgea and Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and enthroned on 30 September 2007 (photo 10). In this new dignity he initiated a series of actions designed to revive the church life in the entire Romanian Patriarchate: the new Statutes for the Organisation and Functioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church (approved by the Holy Synod on 28 November 2007), setting up of the Basilica Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate (Trinitas Television, Trinitas Radio, Basilica News Agency, Lumina Newspaper – the first Christian daily newspaper of Romania with branches “Lumina de duminică” and “Vestitorul Ortodoxiei – Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate – photo 11); setting up of Basilica and Trinitas Publishing Houses of the Romanian Patriarchate and the Word of Life of the Metropolitan See of Muntenia and Dobrudgea; preparation of the construction of the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest (Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation); initiation of the following editorial projects: the new synodal edition of the Holy Scripture and the jubilee edition of the Liturgical Book (2008), a new illustrated edition of the Holy Gospel; the new edition of the Romanian Filocalia (in 12 volumes); re-establishment of the patristic commission of the Church Fathers and Writers (2008); initiation and drafting of the Romanian Orthodox Encyclopaedia, initiation of a History of the Romanian Orthodox Monasticism, under the aegis of the Romanian Patriarchate and of the Romanian Academy etc. He has been professor at the Chair of Pastoral Theology of the “Patriarch Justinian” Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest (since 2007).
His missionary-pastoral, cultural and ecumenical activity was appreciated by many cultural institutions and by the Presidency of Romania, who awarded him the “Faithful Service” Order in great cross rank (2000); “Romanian Star” Order (2007 – photo 12); doctor honoris causa of the Catholic University of the “Sacred Heart”, Fairfield, Connecticut – USA 82003), of “George Enescu” University of Arts, of the “Lucian Blaga” University – Faculty of Theology of “Andrei Şaguna” (29 November 2008), of the University of “1 December 1918” of Alba Iulia (30 November 2008), of the University of “Aurel Vlaicu” of Arad (5 December 2008), of the Western University of “Vasile Goldiş” of Arad (6 December 2008), of the Orthodox Theological Institute of “Saint Serge” of Paris, France (9 July 2009), of the “Eftimie Murgu” University of Reşiţa (13 September 2010), of the University of Oradea (18 September 2010), of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Iaşi (15 October 2010 – photo 13). He is member of the International Academy of Religious Sciences – Brussels (2000), member of honour of the Romanian Academy (19 December 2007).