Two of the most significant Romanian elders of the 20th century were honored on Friday with the laying of the foundation stone of a future monastery to be dedicated in their honor.
The blessing of the foundation stone was officiated by Archbishop Calinic of Suceava and Rădăuți and by Auxiliary Bishop Damaschin of Dorna.
Archbishop Calinic spoke of a “Trinity of Venerables: Paisie (Olaru), Cleopa (Ilie), and Ioanichie (Bălan)”, living models of Orthodox spirituality who are worthy to be followed nowadays.
“Their mission and experience compelled them to a similar behavior to the Holy Fathers, or even, why not, the Holy Apostles,” the Archbishop continued. “They lived and experienced the monastic life in its authenticity.”
“They understood monastic vocation as a holy calling to live in Christ. Al their power was through Christ. The examples of saints and holy people accompanied their vocation until they moved to eternity,” added the hierarch.
The archbishop offered distinctions to the supporters of the project.
The new monastery at Vadu Negrilesei is being established “out of the wish to mark these memorable days for the spirituality of the Romanian people and to prepare for the long-awaited moment of the canonization of these venerables”.
This year marked 125 years from the birth of Father Paisie Olaru and 110 years from the birth of Father Cleopa Ilie. Also, Friday, December 2, marked the 24th anniversary of the repose of Elder Cleopa Ilie.
The new monastic community will be dedicated to elders Paisie Olaru and Ilie Cleopa. Pentecost will be the other patronal feast.
Both Elder Cleopa and Elder Paisie are among those who will be canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 2025 to mark the 140th anniversary of autocephaly and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Patriarchate.
You can contribute to the building of the monastery: details here.
Photo credit: Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuți / Irina Ursachi