The Patriarch of Romania Consecrated the “Holy Friday” parish church – Pajura

On 14 October 2014, after seven years since the laying of its foundation stone, the “Holy Friday” parish church – Pajura dressed festive vestments on its dedication day. The place of worship was consecrated by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, assisted by a group of priests and deacons. After the celebration of the consecration service His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the place of worship, and to end with he delivered a sermon in which he spoke about Saint Pious Parascheva from Iasi, celebrated today in the Orthodox Church.

Unlike the akathistos of the other saints which speaks about their lives, the akathistos of Saint Pious Parascheva does not speak about her life, but about the help she gives to the faithful who pray to her. This is why she is considered much useful. This special piety shows the prompt help she gives to those who pray to her and follow the example of her life of piety, lowliness and generosity. Saint Pious Parascheva is a very popular saint all over Romania, as well as in the North of Constantinople and Greece, in Bulgaria and Serbia, because her relics were brought to these countries during the Ottoman domination as encouragement in faith”, the Patriarch of Romania said.

His Beatitude has also spoken about the special veneration that the Romanians showed to Pious Parascheva, even before her relics were brought to Iasi: “Tens of years before her coming to Iasi, she was declared protector of the Episcopal Cathedral of Roman, founded by prince Petru Rares. Saint Parascheva has become a symbol of the Romanian devotion and we are glad when we see how many churches are dedicated to her. But the only city of the country with almost 30 churches dedicated to Saint Pious Parascheva with the first or second dedication day is Bucharest. The capital city of Romania has 30 altars dedicated to Saint Pious Parascheva. This thing shows how great the devotion of the inhabitants of Bucharest for Saint Pious Parascheva is.”

His Beatitude Daniel appreciated the beauty of the church as well as the work of the founders and benefactors. The place of worship is a Brancovean architectonic gem.

“This church has many elements of the Brancovean style. It has an altar screen which imitates that of Hurezi Monastery and a painting very much like the Byzantine Orthodox painting. Saint Constantine Brancoveanu and his four sons, and counsellor Ianache have a new church in Bucharest. This architectural and pictorial beauty urges us to prayer, to adorn our soul with virtues, change our life, and to cleanse our soul of the soot of sin through repentance in order to render it its initial beauty. This church has been so far the gift of the parish for Christ and for His saints, Saint Pious Parascheva and the Brancovean Saints. From this day forward this gift made up of concrete, iron, brick, colours, stone and wood will be the consecration gift of the Most Holy Trinity for us. We provided material things on the earth and would receive eternal gifts instead”, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said.

His Beatitude has also spoken about the cultural and social activity of the parish of Bucharest: “The parish combines naturally and socially the spiritual with the social. The fact that here, the settlement of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs provides medical consultations free of charge and unfolds various activities with the children shows that the Gospel of Christ is beauty both for the soul and for our communion in society. The parish is a larger family, the family of the Most Holy Trinity, in which the saints show us a model of living and pray for us. It is a very nice thing when a parish keeps the balance between the spiritual – liturgical activity and the social one.

Parish priest Radu Rodin Ilinoiu and co-servant priest Bogdan Scortea were awarded the iconom stavrofor distinction as a sign of appreciation of their entire activity. His Beatitude has also offered an icon of Saint Constantine Brancoveanu with particles of his holy relics for the church, a blessing cross and several books published by the publishing houses of the Romanian Patriarchate.

His Beatitude has also awarded the Order of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs to Mr Andrei Chiliman, mayor of District I Bucharest, for the support granted to build the church and the Order of Maria Brancoveanu Cross to Mrs architect Alexandra Chiliman. Those who supported the construction of the church were also awarded the Homage Diploma of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs with medal and several distinctions of worthiness.

Then, parish priest Radu Ilinoiu addressed a thanksgiving speech to all those who supported the parish since the laying of the foundation stone of the place of worship till its consecration: “many beautiful and important events have taken place in our parish since we have been operating, but certainly this is the most important and full of significance, because today a holy work made with much effort, devotion and love was crowned. We can say about this work that it is no other than the fruit of the grace of the Most Holy Trinity. We can only thank these special people who due to their devotion and work have become the hands of Christ, our Saviour, as His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has repeatedly said”.

The Patriarch of Romania received an icon of the Brancovean Saints Martyrs on behalf of “Holy Friday” – Pajura parish, and a homage medal. To end with, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel blessed with holy water the faithful who were queuing up to enter the Holy Altar according to tradition.