The approval of the local arguments regarding the canonization proposal of Father Ilarion Felea by the Synod of the Metropolis of Banat is a “gratifying fact for those who knew him, read his biography and pastoral-missionary theological work,” the dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Arad, Fr. Cristinel Ioja, told Basilica.ro.
“A joy full of emotion animates the hearts of professors at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Arad, named after the illustrious priest and professor Ilarion V. Felea, the last Rector of the Arad Theological Academy before the establishment of communism,” Dean Ioja noted.
Fr Cristinel Ioja recalled the life of the one who suffered “abusive investigations, deprivations of liberty, all outlining the face of the confessor.”
“The testimonies of those who knew him, his entire spiritual, pastoral-missionary and liturgical work, philanthropy, his mercy for the poor, for orphans and war widows, as well as his confessional cultural work proven by archival documents, illustrate a life of a priest and theologian unfolding on the horizon of prayer, devotion, sacrifice and confession, a life unfolding on the horizon of the holiness of Jesus Christ.”
“At the same time, his life unfolds, especially in the last part, under the vicissitudes of history and communist persecution, in which he suffers social degradation, violence, abusive investigations, deprivation of liberty, all outlining the portrait of a confessor.”
“In fact, the end of his earthly life is the most obvious proof of the lifestyle, faith and confession of Father Ilarion Felea.”
“Father Ilarion Felea remains present even today through the memory of those who knew him and through his work and begins to bear fruit in the hearts of young people, many of them admiring his faith and confession.”
According to Father Cristinel Ioja, “those who knew him at the Old Cathedral of Arad carry an indelible memory of him, his books are published and read throughout the country, his theology is appreciated, and specialized studies are elaborated.”
“The piety of believers across the country is beginning to deepen around one of the most famous confessors of Jesus Christ in communist prisons, and a high-level theological school bears his name. Because wherever he passed, he shared light from the light of Christ, and his faith was none other than the faith given once and for all to the Saints,” the dean concluded.