Patriarch Daniel attended the patronal feast of Cernica Monastery on Saturday, August 6.
The monastic community congratulated the Patriarch of Romania on the 35th anniversary of his monastic tonsure.
Patriarch Daniel attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by an assembly of priests, including Archimandrite Nectarie Șofelea, Exarch of the monasteries of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, and Protosyncellus Vasile Pârjol, abbot of Cernica monastery.
The Patriarch of Romania offered his reflections on the significance of Tabor light and its connection with prayer. He also made a brief incursion into Romanian hesychasm, which included two former abbots of Cernica monastery, Saints George and Callinicus of Cernica.
As a token of appreciation for the work of this monastery, Patriarch Daniel presented the monastery with natural frankincense from Oman and several religious books.
The Patriarch’s gifts included the complete series of the Romanian Philokalia, the Jubilee Edition, and the most recent edition of the Great Book of Hours, published this year by the Biblical and Orthodox Mission Institute, The Hymns of Divine Love by St. Simeon the New Theologian and Selected Writings of St. Gregory Palamas, published by the Basilica Publishing House of the Romanian Patriarchate, as well as a volume about Saint George the Archimandrite (1730-1806), abbot of Cernica and Căldărușani Monasteries, an innovator of Romanian hesychasm, coordinated published by the Publishing House of the Metropolis of Muntenia and Dobruja.
“Your Beatitude, we thank the Lord for all the gifts poured out on this monastery, but also for the gifts from Your Beatitude. Furthermore, we thank the faithful who participate daily and at every feast in all the church services and embellish the liturgical life of this monastery, together with the monastic community,” Abbot Vasile Pârjol said.
“We must recall that Your Beatitude has revived the ancient custom of celebrating the patronal feast given to this church by St. Callinicus of Cernica, the feast of the Transfiguration, which is a feast of Hesychasts, and it is not by chance that this feast was given to this church, because Cernica was a strong spiritual hesychastic centre,” the abbot added.
“Also related to this spiritual event, I believe that Your Beatitude also remembers the moment when, 35 years ago, in another Hesychast monastery, under the mantle of a Hesychast priest, Father Cleopas, you received the angelic schema. We wish you good health, many years and a blessed shepherding at the helm of the Church,” Protosyncellus Vasile Pârjol said and presented the Patriarch of Romania with flowers.
“We thank the Abbot and the monastic community, and all those who contributed to the embellishment of today’s Divine Liturgy, the priests, Exarch Nectarie Șofelea, and you, who are the flowers of faith gathered in prayer like these flowers gathered in this bouquet,” the Patriarch replied, addressing the faithful.
“The flowers of living and prayerful faith are the faithful. They give beauty to the church, in addition to the beauty of the iconography and the divine services. May you live many blessed years,” Patriarch Daniel concluded.
Participants in the Divine Liturgy received from the Patriarch a prayer card depicting the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
Patriarch Daniel was tonsured a monk on August 6, 1987, under the mantle of Archimandrite Cleopas Ilie. On August 14, the same year, he was ordained to the diaconate, and on August 15, he became a priest.
Cernica Monastery has two other patron saints: Venerable George and St Callinicus of Cernica.
Photos: © Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu