The message of His Beatitude DANIEL, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, on the occasion of the 19th General Assembly of Syndesmos Orthodox Youth Organization (Neamţ Monastery, Romania, 7-12 August 2014):
We appreciate the meeting of the 19th General Assembly of the Syndesmos Orthodox Youth Organization at “Veniamin Costachi” Orthodox Theological Seminary of Neamţ Monastery, Romania. Since across the years other Syndesmos meetings have been organized in the same place, continuity is representative in turning towards places that are marked by the centuries-old Orthodox spirituality, and also by the beauty of the wooded mountains and of the luminous glades of Neamţ area.
Beside the organizational and administrative aspects provided in the program of this Syndesmos General Assembly, we consider that the meeting held in Neamţ from 7 to 12 August 2014, that reunites approximately 100 Orthodox young people from different countries, represents a manifestation of communion and joy, of witnessing to the unity of Orthodoxy and, furthermore, a concrete occasion of intensifying the mission of the youths in the life of the Church nowadays.
In the contemporary society, dominated by ideologies that preferentially cultivate consumerism and hedonism, favouring the biological condition of the human being without any reference to spiritual life, the enthusiasm that encourages young people from different countries to meet is both significant and salutary, being animated by an existential pursuit of the meaning of life and of the unity in the Truth and the Spirit of the Orthodox Church. In this regard, the Syndesmos Orthodox Organization remains faithful to its primary motivation, expressed in the words of St Paul the Apostle: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
In the context of today’s virtual communication, it is necessary that people meet personally, face to face, in order to share common experiences. Therefore, the meeting of the Syndesmos General Assembly al the Neamţ Monastery represents a real chance to cultivate and intensify real interpersonal relations, in the spirit of prayer, impregnated in this area especially by the hesychast monastic community of Neamţ, comprised of monks of different nationalities, and which, in the second half of the 18th century, was headed by St Paisios Velichkovsky, from whose passing away we commemorate this year 220 years (1794-2014).
We hope that the meeting of the Orthodox young people at Neamţ Monastery will reveal the joy of common prayer, of dialogue and friendship in the Orthodox spiritual atmosphere. At the same time, the 19th General Assembly of the Syndesmos organization, through its future program, can contribute to the cultivation of missionary vocation in young people today, who, through their specific zeal, are called to bear witness of the beauty and the depth of the Orthodox ethos, in a world more and more secularized and confused.
We congratulate the organizers of this General Assembly of the Syndesmos Organization; we bless the participants and pray that the works of the meeting may be held for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the benefit of the universal Orthodox Church.
† D A N I E L
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church