Witnessing the proclamation of the canonization of Saint Theophano Basarab on May 21, Metropolitan Naum of Ruse underlined the fraternal communion between the Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches.
Metropolitan Naum said that together with Saints Parascheva and Demetrius, from now on, “our fraternal Orthodox Churches and peoples receive, in the person of Saint Theophano Basarab, another common intercessor in prayer – another spiritual and unifying bridge in the longing for the heights of Christian life and labors, another faithful companion on the narrow path of salvation to the Kingdom of eternal life.”
Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin was also present at this historical event for Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox believers. The Bulgarian hierarchs received an icon from Patriarch Daniel depicting the newly-canonized Saint Theophano.
Read below Metropolitan Naum’s address:
Christ is risen!
The holy paschal joy, which continues to prevail in our hearts and direct our spiritual senses towards the Kingdom of God, is even more complete and richer today because the Holy Church of Christ solemnly canonizes and glorifies, among the saints well-pleasing to God, yet another wonderful witness, and confessor of the name of Christ: the blessed Tsarina Theodora of Tarnovo – in monasticism the Venerable Theophano Basarab.
We rejoice and give thanks to the Most Merciful God that today when we glorify Saints Constantine and Helen, the heavenly patron saints of this grand Patriarchal Cathedral, another right-believing tsarina shines in the Church, linked at the same time to the Romanian Orthodox fraternal people and the Bulgarian Orthodox people.
For us Christians, the newly-glorified Saint Theophano will always have her rightful place in our ecclesiastical and national memory, remaining our “Theodora, the pious empress of the great Tsar Ivan Alexander, who took on the angelic monastic schema under the name of Theophano”, to whom the old Bulgarian version of the Synodicon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy will always sing “memory eternal.”
Because the Bulgarian Orthodox people cannot forget her good deeds and all that she did for them with such love.
In our memory will always be preserved the faithful care of the holy right-believing Theodora for the literary and cultural development of the Tarnovo Tsardom, the living work of founding for the benefit of churches and monasteries throughout the diocese of the Tarnovo Patriarchate, but also for the benefit of the cave monastery of Basarbovo, in our diocese of Ruse, under the protection of God, together with all that she has contributed to the mission of the Holy Church and an even stronger establishment of Christianity in our country, Bulgaria.
Together with Saints Parascheva of Epivat and Demetrius of Basarbovo, today, our fraternal Orthodox Churches and peoples receive, in the person of Saint Theophano Basarab, another common intercessor in prayer – another spiritual and unifying bridge in the longing for the heights of Christian life and labours, another faithful companion on the narrow path of salvation to the Kingdom of eternal life.
We hope that through her holiness and piety, through the example of zeal for God and dedication to the work of His Holy Church, which Saint Theophano has left us, she will inspire many of us in the future to even greater diligence in fulfilling the Covenant of Christ and will inspire unity and mutual love between the Holy Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches.
Through the holy prayers and heavenly intercessions of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the Venerable Parascheva of Tarnovo and the Venerable Demetrius of Basarbovo, the Venerable Theophano Basarab and all the saints well-pleasing to Him, may the Lord God be ever merciful to us all, may He grant us peace and His great mercy and bless from the heavenly heights our fraternal Orthodox nations!