The patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti on Saturday presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Chapel of the National Cathedral in Bucharest urging the believers to honour Saint Andrew the First-called as a spiritual father and to follow his spiritual courage (manhood).
“This holiday has a true national importance because we celebrate our spiritual father, the one who adopted us to the Father through the work of the Holy Spirit,” said the hierarch on Nov. 30 at the Chapel of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral.
“Since the preaching of the gospel on the territory of our country two thousand years ago and until today we have had a lot of teachers who preached the word of truth to us: saints, hierarchs, priests, monks, and teachers. But rightly we must remember St. Andrew the Apostle, the spiritual father of our nation, because he is the one who brought to the good land of our nation the fruitful seed of the word of the Gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
His Holiness emphasized the widespread devotion Romanians have to St. Andrew, who is the protector saint of the National Cathedral, but also of more than 1,800 other churches. Also, over 800,000 Romanians bear the name of the first-called to apostleship.
Patriarch Daniel’s assistant bishop Varlaam of Ploiești recalled that the Greek name “Andreas” means “manhood, manliness” and this holy apostle demonstrated spiritual courage in his mission, but especially at the time of martyrdom.
“His commemoration today urges us to prove the manhood in our spiritual work, in professing our faith around us, as he showed until martyrdom during Emperor Nero in the city of Patra.”
“May the good God through the intercessions of St. Andrew, the Protector of Romania, grant us peace and joy, courage and inspiration to follow the teaching of the gospel preached by him, courage and manhood in the profession of our Orthodox faith to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and our salvation. Amen.”
The Patriarch of Romania attended the Divine Liturgy at the Chapel of the National Cathedral, where he addressed the congregation, talking about the Cathedral’s basement chapel and underground spaces.
Patriarch Daniel expressed his appreciation for the philanthropic activities carried out by the Chapel’s volunteers, especially for the “Health for villages” Campaign. The volunteers received diplomas and medals as a token of appreciation.