The Library of the Holy Synod organized an event last Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the blessed repose of hieroschemamonk Daniil Sandu Tudor, the founder of the unique spiritual movement called the Burning Bush (Rugul Aprins).
A radio play titled “Sandu Tudor – The Flower of Fire of the Burning Bush” was heard. The play’s script followed the fate of the one who died in Aiud prison on November 17, 1962.
“The play was about a providential moment in Sandu Tudor’s youth days, namely the eight-month scholarship to Mount Athos offered by the University of Bucharest. On Mount Athos, he discovered the depth of the theological thinking of Saint Symeon the New Theologian, who was a model for him,” the patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiești said after the play.
“Father Daniil was also a teacher of unceasing prayer. He practiced this work for a while under the supervision of Father John Kulygin, who was trained at Optina Monastery, where he reached the Hesychast atmosphere and the theology of continuous prayer renewed by Saint Paisius (Velichkovsky) of Neamț. We wholeheartedly congratulate those who made this show possible.”
Archimandrite Policarp Chițulescu, patriarchal adviser and head of the Library of the Holy Synod, Ion‑Costin Manoliu, the script’s author, and Dan Puric, who signed the direction, also participated in the event.
On the same day, a memorial service for Father Daniil Sandu Tudor was officiated at St Anthimos Monastery in Bucharest.
Testimonies from the writings of Father Daniil Sandu Tudor and testimonies from those who knew him were used in the play: the writer and university professor Alexandru Codin Mironescu, Archimandrite Benedict Ghiuş, Archimandrite Sofian Boghiu, Archimandrite Andrei Scrima, Hieromonk Vasile Vasilache – the abbot of St Anthimos Monastery in the years 1944-1948, the poet and economist Paul Sterian, the Metropolitan Antonie Plămădeală of Transylvania (1981-2005), Archimandrite Roman Braga.
A former journalist and writer, Sandu Tudor had an intense activity as a publicist before he entered St Anthimos Monastery in Bucharest.
At the founding of the “Burning Bush” movement at St Anthimos Monastery, he was one of the signatories of the letter asking Patriarch Nicodim for his blessing for the group’s meetings.
The themes of the meetings were hesychasm, Jesus the Incarnate Logos, the original sin, the Prayer of the Heart, Christ in our midst, and various topics from the Philokalia.
He was arrested in 1958 along with 15 other members of the Burning Bush group. The arrest batch bore his name, as he was considered the leader of a group subversive to the communist state order.
Photo: Lumina Newspaper / Andrei Butu