On 30 September 2015, His Beatitude Daniel celebrates the 8th anniversary of his enthronement as Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
On this occasion, after the Divine Liturgy officiated in the Patriarchal Cathedral, in the presence of the Romanian Patriarch and of the assembly of hierarchs, a Te Deum service was officiated as thanksgiving for the benefits bestowed upon the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Romanian people and upon the His Beatitude Daniel during the eight-year-long service as Romanian Patriarch. The thanksgiving service was officiated by His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul (of Prahova), Assistant Bishop to the Archbishopric of Bucharest, surrounded by an assembly of priests and deacons.
Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral – a foundation for eternity
At the end of the thanksgiving service, His Eminence Andrei, Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramureş and Sălaj, delivered a sermon to the present faithful. His Eminence talked about the great spiritual shepherds and their importance in leading the faithful on the path to salvation. Furthermore, the Metropolitan of Cluj appreciated the personality of the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, indicating that “the virtues that I generally outlined regarding the great spiritual shepherds can also be found, if we pay close attention, in our great Patriarch”.
“Besides these spiritual works that I have just mentioned, His Beatitude is also a great theologian, and at the same time is involved in social care, because in our world full of suffering it is compulsory to remember the poor, the humiliated, the solitary, the elderly, the children who belong to nobody. One of the works that remains a foundation for eternity is the People’s Salvation Cathedral. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel together with the ones that supported him can present to God this great and unique achievement that represents us all and that will be the symbol of our people. Therefore today, in a spirit of prayer, we interceded God to grant many years and good health to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel so that he can achieve the things planed for”, His Eminence Metropolitan Andrei said.
The spiritual shepherd takes care not only of himself, but of the entire community entrusted to him
In his address, the Romanian Patriarch referred to the great responsibility borne by the one to whom is entrusted the shepherding of the faithful on the path to salvation.
“Our Saviour asserts in the Gospel of Luke the following: ‘For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more’ (Luke 12:48b). This means that to whom many gifts have been given, much will be required, i.e. multiplying the gifts. To whom shepherding has been committed, that is the paternal care for the others and for their souls, even more will be asked of him. Therefore, the spiritual shepherd takes care not only of himself, and of his family, but of the entire community entrusted to him. Honour in the Church never comes without a motivation. Honour derives out of service, of sacrificial attitude, of self-giving for the benefit of the others after the model of the work of our Saviour Jesus Christ Who said: ‘the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve’. Therefore, in this work all of us the spiritual shepherds are included: hierarchs, priests, spiritual fathers”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel stated.
Those who are scattered among other nations are gathered in the Church
On this occasion, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church firstly gave thanks to God for the benefits bestowed upon him all these years. Also, His Beatitude thanked the hierarchs of the Romanian Orthodox Church for the collaboration, for the cooperation based on together-thinking and on liturgical – sacramental – communion, and highlighted the special activity that they unfold in their dioceses.
“The Hierarchs of our Church are people who undertake much activity away, officiating many hierarchal services, consecrating many new churches, restoring old churches, establishing educational units of Christian, theological and generally religious education, and also many social and philanthropic institutions. In our history we have never had so many hierarchal Divine Liturgies away on every Sunday, in our country. Furthermore, the Romanian servant hierarchs of the diaspora have established hundreds of parishes, monasteries and sketes, and gather the scattered, for diaspora means scattering, the ones who aren’t any more gathered compact, but scattered among other nations. So, the ones scattered among other nations are gathered nevertheless in the Church, because the Church herself means the gathering of the people in the love of the Most Holy Trinity”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel explained.
We look back at what we have achieved only to give thanks to God and to those through whom God helped us
The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church also thanked the staff of the Patriarchal Administration and of the Archbishopric of Bucharest, explaining that the multitude of the activities undertaken mean a continuous vigil and labour for the service of Christ’s Church.
“We also thank the associates from the Patriarchal Centre, the members of the Permanent National Church Council, but also the over 670 staff members of the Patriarchal Administration, and the over 370 representatives of the Administration of the Archbishopric of Bucharest. Their multitude indicate the multitude of the undertaken activities. This means a continuous vigil and labour for the service of the Christ’s Church, looking back not only at what we have achieved, but especially to what we have to do from now on. We look back at what we have achieved only to give thanks to God and to those through whom God helped us”, His Beatitude said.
There is a great need of a healthy education in order to offer health to the society
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church expressed his gratitude towards the religion teachers, whom he named enlighteners of children and youth.
“We also extend our thought to the numerous professors in theological schools, the multitude of religion teachers who transmit the faith of the Romanian people, a people exceptionally Christian since its historic birth as a new nation formed of Dacians and Romans. Therefore, we thank these enlighteners of children and youth. There is a great need of a healthy education in order to offer health to the society. A healthy education is an education that offers health to the people, not only physical, but also spiritual”, the Romanian Patriarch added.
We have to develop and intensify this ministry of assisting the needy
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel noted the need to intensify the ministry of assisting the needy and thanked all those who undertake the social and philanthropic work of the Church: “We meditate on the multitude of charity priests in hospitals, military units, prisons who bring through their pastoral work much consolation and hope to those who suffer, feel sorrow or helplessness. We have over 800 social and philanthropic units, programs and projects undertaken which represent a special effort for the benefit of our people. But considering what we have until now doesn’t mean it is sufficient; we have to develop and intensify the ministry of assisting the needy.”
There is a special spiritual and social ministry in many monasteries where prayer is united with work
The Romanian Patriarch also thanked to the monastic clergy, all the monastics and secular priests who carry out different activities through which they convey the love of Christ to those who greater need encouragement and consolation.
“We thank all the monastic clergy, all the monastics in monasteries who pray to God, and also receive pilgrims whom they listen to and help according to their possibilities. There is a special spiritual and social ministry in many monasteries where prayer is united with work and the receipt of pilgrims, of worshipers. We give special thanks to the numerous secular priests in the parishes who build churches, take care of the sick, and of the poor, and who, by their preaching, convey the Gospel of Christ, and who by their activities spread the love of Christ to those who greater need encouragement and consolation”, His Beatitude remarked.
The thanksgiving service was preceded by an anniversary moment, during which the congratulatory messages of the representatives of the central and local state authorities, as well as of other public institutions, were read out.