At the end of Tuesday’s “Path of the Saints” procession, the relics of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher and the icon of the Mother of God Panagia Soumela from Greece arrived in Bucharest. The Patriarch of Romania welcomed them in a ceremony at the outdoor altar of the Patriarchal Cathedral.
“We pray to the Mother of God, the Holy Venerable Demetrius the New, Protector of Bucharest, the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher, the Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen, and the Holy Hierarch Nectarius of Aegina to offer their prayers to God for the health and help of the pilgrims, who honor the saints with deep devotion and holy joy,” Patriarch Daniel said.
“At the same time, we pray that God will shower His mercy on all the people today in war, in suffering and trouble,” the Patriarch of Romania prayed.
In his speech, the Patriarch referred to the importance of the solemn and commemorative themes of 2023 in the Romanian Patriarchate, to the life of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius, and the history of the wonderworking icon Panagia Soumela.
Pointing to the icon of the Theotokos, Patriarch Daniel mentioned a recent discovery:
“Not long ago, it was discovered that in the 17th century, Lady Maria, the wife of Prince Șerban Cantacuzino, the ruler of Wallachia, added to this icon from Trebizond a gilded silver crown adorned with precious stones, thus asking for the intercessions of the Mother of God for her entire family”.
An inscription also shows the name of the ruler’s wife, Patriarch Daniel noted.
Patriarch Daniel thanked Metropolitan Panteleimon de Veria for his “friendship and generosity” as he brought the Panagia Soumela icon and the relics of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius to Bucharest.
Metropolitan Panteleimon expressed his joy in revisiting Romania. He was also present last year at this patronal feast.
“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Your Beatitude, Patriarch Daniel, for the respectful invitation full of fraternal love that you addressed to us and for the Christian love that you bear for us, thanks to which we are once again in your welcoming country and we experience the same emotion that we feel every time we come here, seeing even today the thousands of believers who have gathered to welcome the gracious and miracle-working Icon of Panagia Soumela and to accompany it with reverence and prayer, during this procession and in the days to come, to venerate and kiss it devoutly and thus receive its grace and blessing.”
The reliquary with the relic of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher and the Icon of Panagia Soumela was placed for veneration inside the “Baldachin of the Saints”. The festivities will end on Sunday, October 29.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu