“Saint John Chrysostom says that a sailor’s mastery is seen in times of storm,” said on Monday Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova referring to Romania’s former Patriarch Justinian Marina. “His pastoral ministry took place in a time of storm when adverse waves threatened the Church’s ship,” the bishop added.
The Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest officiated a memorial service at Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest to mark Patriarch Justinian’s 120th birthday anniversary.
“Persevering in his work, fearless, having the courage to confess more than was possible in that period, Patriarch Justinian was a great shepherd in difficult times,” the bishop said Feb. 22.
“It is difficult to remember how many humiliations the Church went through then, including Patriarch Justinian himself, how many of his efforts were discovered after his death, how much courage he had, even daring several times to write personally to the then leader of Romania, whether it was Gheorghiu-Dej or Nicolae Ceaușescu,” the assistant bishop stressed at the end of the memorial service.
“Many times he did not receive an answer. For several months, he was forcibly sent to one of the hermitages of the Romanian Patriarchate to Dragoslavele, unable to return even for an hour during this period to the patriarchal residence. He was a fighting hierarch.”