Patriarch Daniel of Romania welcomed Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium at the patriarchal residence in Bucharest on Saturday, August 12, 2023.
The Metropolitan was accompanied by his brother, Protopresbyter Bernard Peckstadt, and Father Sorin Șelaru, the director of the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions in Brussels.
Patriarch Daniel presented the two guests with the Patriarchal Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
Sunday, August 13, at the initiative of Patriarch Daniel, Metropolitan Athenagoras celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest, where hundreds of believers participated in the outdoor service.
Archim. Nectarie Șofelea, the monastery’s abbot, warmly received the Metropolitan of Belgium.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan of Belgium expressed his gratitude for the visit to Romania, which brought back many memories for him and his brother.
Metropolitan Athenagoras referred to his first visit to Romania in 1967 and the countless contacts with patriarchs, important priests, theologians, monks and nuns in Romania and Belgium.
The guest was particularly moved by the visit to the tomb of Patriarch Justinian at Radu Vodă Monastery, whom he knew as a child.
Metropolitan Athenagoras also expressed his joy to once again witness the devotion of the Romanian people, who participate in the services and visit the monasteries.
The Metropolitan of Belgium thanked the Patriarch of Romania for the permission to serve in Bucharest. He expressed his gratitude to the abbot and the monastic community of Radu Vodă Monastery for the warm welcome and showed his appreciation for the Byzantine choir, which sang in Romanian and Greek.