On Tuesday, the patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti urged to teach children “how important the cross is in our lives and for the salvation of each of us.”
Bishop Varlaam led the celebrations for the patronal feast of St Basil Church on Victoriei Ave in Bucharest. The church keeps the largest fragment of the precious wood of the Holy Cross existing in Romania.
The hierarch explained in his sermon the reasons why we should venerate the holy cross. “Because it is part of God’s eternal plan, and because Christ willingly received it for us and for our salvation.”
He said that “our people have placed the holy cross everywhere.”
“We meet it at the crossroads to protect travelers, but also to remember the words of Jesus, Who said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14: 6).”
“It is placed on top of fountains to protect those who drink water to quench their thirst caused by traveling, but also to remind us that Jesus said of Himself that He is the living water” (John 4: 10,14).
“We place the cross at the head of Christians who fell asleep in the hope of the resurrection and eternal life to show the strong faith of the one who departed from among us and of us who follow them to the Universal Resurrection that was won for us by the death and resurrection of Christ but also to remind us of the words of the Saviour, Who said, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die (John 11:25),” His Grace emphasized.
The patriarchal auxiliary bishop urged all to keep a Cross in their homes and wear it around their necks as a sign of protection. “Because we know from the work of the Church that the sign of the holy cross is frightening to the devil, who does not dare to look to its power.”
Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti said that the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is a holiday with severe fasting because it resembles Holy and Great Week, more precisely, on Holy Thursday.
The hierarch prayed that the fragment of the Lord’s cross enshrined in the church would bring into the lives of all believers God’s blessing and help and “the encouragement to be truly brave bearers and confessors of the cross of Christ.”