Source: Basilia News Agency
October 23, 2015
The feast of St. Demetrius the New, protector of Bucharest, was officially opened with the Way of the Saints Procession. After being carried in procession, the holy relics of the Three Holy Hierarchs, as well as of St. Demetrius the New and of the Holy Emperor and Empress Constantine and Helen were received by the Patriarch of Romania at the outdoor altar next to the Patriarchal cathedral. Here, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel and His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos of Drama delivered a speech to the pilgrims. We present below the address of His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos of Drama:
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Your Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania,
The year 2015 is dedicated in the Romanian Orthodox Church to one of the greatest preachers, namely to St. John Chrysostom.
St. John is alive in the conscience of the Church through his Divine Liturgy. He also lives through his eternal writings. The ones who heard him during his life exclaimed: “better to dim the sun than to shut the mouth of Chrysostom.”
And their voices have been heard. The sun called John Chrysostom hasn’t set ever since. His mouth and his golden words have never been sealed. The writings and sayings of the golden-mouthed saint are decisive. Through his writings and sayings he is a contemporary of every generation, and especially of our generation. His theological, dogmatic, social, anthropological, and Christological words are necessary to Christians, science, society, theology, priesthood, politics, and to every dimension through which human life is expressed. Nevertheless, this saint is the teacher of mercifulness and of prayer. His opponents succeeded in removing him from the throne of the Church of Constantinople and exiled him. However, they didn’t succeed in one thing: to remove him from the throne of holiness.
Theology boasts in him, the preachers of the divine Word take him as a model, while the faithful consider him an authentic teacher of godliness. Through this hopeless world passed many orators and preachers, but there never has existed anyone of the magnitude of St John Chrysostom, the one who was considered “the nightingale of the pulpit.” He was unique and unrepeatable.
Your Beatitude, by your care, the Romanian Orthodox Church decided this year to specially honor, concentrate on and systematically promote the works and person of St. John Chrysostom. Our society needs prayer and mercifulness. We are all witnesses of what daily happens around us.
The culminating event of this solemn year of St. John Chrysostom is represented by the arrival in Bucharest of the holy relics of this holy hierarch, on the Feast of St. Demetrius the New, as a blessing and sanctification of the faithful and the entire country—Orthodox Romania.
Our saint hasn’t come alone. He is accompanied by his co-laborers and teachers of the world, St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory the Theologian, who were equal to him in the holy struggle for faith.
The holy and royal Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St. Paul of Mount Athos responded affirmatively to the invitation addressed by Your Beatitude, and with the blessing of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, of the Iera Kinotita (Holy Community) of Mount Athos, as well as of our abbot Archimandrite Parthenios, my humbleness together with the elders of the monastery, Fathers Gerasimos and Nikodemos, hieromonk Basil and monk Nektarios, have brought the relics of the Three Holy Hierarchs here, for the blessing and sanctification of the Orthodox Romanian people.
St. Paul’s Monastery is closely related to your blessed country.
The ruling princes and boyars of Moldova and Wallachia ever since the year 1500 have been great benefactors of our monastery. In 1501 Count Barbu Banul offered financial support to our monastery. In 1522, Prince Ioan Neagu together with his son Teodosie built the north-eastern side of the monastery, while Prince Peter finished the construction of the defensive tower from 1554 to 1557. Princes Ioan Radu and Matei Basarab of Wallachia dedicated to the monastery different metochions and fiefdoms in the years 1633-1654. One of the greatest benefactors of our monastery was Prince St John Constantine Basarab Brâncoveanu, who built cells, auxiliary buildings, the refectory (trapeza) of the monastery, and the parekklesion (chapel) dedicated to the holy Emperor and Empress Constantine and Helen. We remember daily at the holy services all these and other benefactors of our monastery, thus keeping alive our spiritual kinship.
On our monastery depends the Romanian Skete of St. Demetrius-Lakkou, which since the tenth century has been a lively monastic settlement hidden behind the peaks of the Small Athos and of Mount Antiathos.
From the beginning of the seventeenth century monks from Moldova and Wallachia desiring a more ascetic monastic life settled in these places, and created this great skete, loving hesychasm, according to the Athonite way of life.
Our monastery has spent an important sum in order to rebuild the central church of the skete. Today, this monastic settlement prospers, with the blessing of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and of our abbot Archimandrite Parthenios. And if some years ago the skete was in decline, today, every cell has been renovated and, even more importantly, they have been populated with good and zealous monks, of Romanian origin, who have fully acclimated to the Athonite monastic community and tradition. Our spiritual elders Gerasimos and Nikodemos, who are here present today, struggle to help the skete for its material and spiritual prosperity.
Therefore, here and now, we do not feel as strangers among you, but we feel like true brothers, because of all that mentioned above, and especially because of our common Orthodox faith.
We bow down with filial respect before Your Beatitude and we also confess our admiration for your important mission, and may the protectress of Mount Athos, the Most Holy Theotokos, through the intercessions of St. John Chrysostom, intercede for Your Beatitude and the faithful Romanian people, so that as another Moses, Your Beatitude will guide your flock on the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.