Last Thursday, the Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Ieronim of Sinaia attended a commemorative ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Bucharest’s Carol I Park.
The Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop said it is the feast of the Ascension of the Lord and “a day of spiritual elevation” in prayer for the heroes who ensured the uninterrupted existence of our country and people.
The event was attended by the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, the Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciuca, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, the President of the Senate, Florin Cîţu, the Minister of Defense, Vasile Dîncu, the Minister of Interior, Lucian Bode, the Minister of Defense of Turkey, Hulusi Akar, the Bucharest’s General Mayor, Nicuş Dan, and military chaplains.
A memorial service was officiated by Fr. Florin Vlădoiu, the coordinator of the Religious Assistance Section of the General Staff of the Romanian Army.
“We will find that each of our people has reached present times through an uninterrupted succession. If this succession had been interrupted somewhere, we would not have existed. So would this country. If it were not for these devoted military people, lovers of the nation to the point of sacrifice, who would give their lives for our ideals, we would not be an independent country today, free and with the most beautiful aspirations,” Bishop Ieronim of Sinaia told Trinitas TV after the June 2 ceremony.
“A duty of great honour is being fulfilled: that of not forgetting them. The Church is, par excellence, the one that keeps the memory of all. And on this day, we also remember heroes,” the hierarch added.
“We also remember them in the holy churches, in the actual memorial service we perform for the forgiveness of their sins, so that, in addition to earthly glory, the Saviour may also give them heavenly glory, because, through their supreme sacrifice, they were clothed in glory on earth,” the Bishop also noted.
“We pray to God to number them among His saints in heaven,” the patriarchal auxiliary Bishop Ieronim of Sinaia concluded.
On Thursday, June 2, at noon, all church bells in the Romanian Patriarchate rang in memory of national heroes.
The remembrance of the heroes of the Romanian nation on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord was decided by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1920. This decision was later enshrined with two other synodal resolutions in 1999 and 2001, by which the day was proclaimed a national church holiday.
Law 379/2003 on the regime of war graves and memorials declares the fortieth day of Pascha, the feast of the Ascension of the Saviour Jesus Christ, as Heroes’ Day and a national holiday of the Romanian people.