Moscow, May 15, 2017
The official ceremony of glorification of four saints of Putna Monastery was celebrated over the weekend by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel at Putna Monastery in Suceava Country in northern Romania.
As previously reported, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church resolved on June 6, 2016 to glorify and add to the calendar of saints four great ascetics connected with Putna Monastery: Metropolitan Jacob Putneanul of Moldova, and the Venerable Fathers Silas, Nathan, and Paisios of Sihăstria Putnei Monastery.
The services and events over the weekend were attended by thousands of faithful clergy and laity from across the country. Ten hierarchs concelebrated at the Saturday Divine Liturgy, after which the official tomos of glorification was read out.
Patriarch Daniel arrived at the airport in Bucovina on Friday, May 13, where he was greeted by a delegation from the Church of Moldova and Bucovina before heading to Putna Monastery. A Te Deum was celebrated, after which Patriarch Daniel addressed those present, referring to Putna Monastery as “a school for the unity of our nation and a school of piety and culture for the Orthodox.”
The icon and relics of Sts. Silas, Nathan, and Paiosios were brought from Sihăstria Putnei to Putna Monastery in a joyous procession and placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, by the relics of St. Jacob.
Later that evening the final memorial Panikhida was served for the new saints by His Grace Calinic Botoșăneanul, Vicar Bishop of the Archdiocese of Iasi.
According to the ordinances of the Orthodox Church, before the official proclamation of the canonization of a saint, the final memorial service is served. After the proclamation of canonization, the saint is to be prayed to, not for.
The following day, the Divine Liturgy of canonization was served on a special stage erected in the courtyard at Putna Monastery. Following the Liturgy, served by the patriarch and a number of concelebrating hierarchs and clergy, and attended by thousands of faithful, the Holy Synod’s official tomos of canonization for St. Jacob was read out, followed by the official tomos for Sts. Silas, Nathan, and Paisios.
In his words to the thousands gathered, the primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church spoke of St. Jacob as a “hierarch of pure and holy life, a defender of the true faith, devout and wise, a good teacher and spiritual father, and a great founder and tireless shepherd of the Christian community,” recounting the great works of his holy life, and how he spiritually and materially strengthened Putna Monastery.
He also spoke of the Venerable Fathers Silas, Paisios, and Nathan, as “friends of God” who were “driven by their burning love for God, being lovers of silence and much prayer, toiling for the beauty of the House of the Lord.”
Speaking of the vital role that the saints play in the daily lives of Orthodox faithful, His Beatitude recalled the sufferings that the Romanian Church has faced over the past century, and which it is facing today:
The saints pray in Heaven in all times and places, but the saints of our nation especially helped us through the great and painful test of fidelity or faithfulness to Christ, namely, the persecution of the communist regime. However, after many sufferings and humiliations, with the help of the most Holy Trinity, of the Theotokos and of all the saints, the majority of the Romanian people remained faithful to Christ… More precisely, today we have great need of the prayers of the saints, because we are in an unseen spiritual war against secularization, i.e. the organization of human life and society as if God did not exist… We must ask the saints of Putna, all the saints of the Romanian people and all the saints of the Orthodox Church universal, to enlighten, to warm up and to strengthen our souls with their prayers, and to go on the path to salvation, which is the union of man with God, the Source of life and eternal joy!
Following the joyous Divine Liturgy and official proclamations of canonization, all the faithful were able to venerate the holy relics of the Putna saints, which were placed on a special stage set up near the Church.
The day continued with a poetry recital and music entitled “The Putna Monastery of St. Stephen and St. James” and the opening of the exhibition “The Holy Metropolitan Jacob of Putna: Father, Founder, Scholar” in the Putna Monastery Museum.
May 15 has been established as the day of celebration for Sts. Silas, Nathan, and Paisios, and May 16 as the day of St. Jacob Putneanul.