On Saturday, Patriarch Daniel of Romania welcomed two hieroschemamonks from St George – Colciu cell on Mount Athos: Fr Dionisie Alb, the cell’s hegumen, and Fr. Dionisie Florea. The Athonite fathers presented the Patriarch of Romania with a fragment of the honourable head of Elder Dionisie Ignat. Patriarch Daniel granted them the second highest distinction of the Romanian Patriarchate: The Praying Theotokos Order.
“They wanted to bring us a fragment of the relics of the Venerable Dionisie Ignat, even before the proclamation of his canonization by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, because, during the exhumation of the remains of Father Dionisie Ignat, a fragment of the skull came off, and they considered it to be a blessed gesture to give us this fragment,” Patriarch Daniel said during the meeting on Saturday.
“We thank you, Fathers Dionisie Alb and Dionisie Florea, for this gift, and we pray to God to help us also receive the Tomos proclaiming the canonization of the Venerable Father Dionisie Ignat as a Saint of the Universal Orthodox Church.”
“The Ecumenical Patriarchate is entitled to proclaim the canonization, to list the Father among the saints in the calendar, because he reposed in the Lord on the canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on the Holy Mount Athos,” the Patriarch added.
“And, by this, of course, we also bring closer the two Greek and Romanian peoples, who, over the centuries, have given a lot of intercessors and spiritual guides of Orthodoxy on the Holy Mount Athos.”
During a brief ceremony at the patriarchal residence, the Athonite monks received the distinctions granted by Patriarch Daniel: the Order of the Praying Theotokos (Virgin Orans).
“We thank you, Your Beatitude, for the love you show towards us, even if we are far away, and for considering that one of the fathers, whom God blessed us to live with, should be proposed for canonization,” hegumen Dionisie Alb said.
“We hope that, through the prayers and the help of the intercessor saints, we will overcome the trials and difficulties of life, but, at the same time, we also have examples to follow of some saints from our nation,” the Patriarch of Romania replied.
Patriarch Daniel reminded that the Romanian Patriarchate also has two clerics from each metropolis on the canonization waiting list, including Bessarabia. They were confessors of Orthodoxy and spiritual guides during communism.
They will be glorified as saints in 2024 but proclaimed the following year when the Romanian Orthodox Church will mark its 140th autocephaly anniversary and 100 years since its elevation to the patriarchal status.
Patriarch Daniel also pointed out that, in addition to honouring the venerable fathers who suffered in Romania, “it is essential to respect these Romanians who, outside the country’s borders, brought a unique testimony of piety, faith, and prayer.”
In this context, the Patriarch remembered the Athonite Elder Petroniu Tănase, former abbot of the Romanian Skete of the Honourable Forerunner on Mount Athos.
“These two spiritual luminaries from a challenging period, from Mount Athos, Father Dionisie Ignat and Father Petroniu Tănase, who stayed for a while in Romania and in the second part of their life lived on Athos, we hope that they will be an extra joy for us, Romanians, in particular, and for all of Orthodoxy, because when someone is included among the saints, he becomes an intercessor for all of Orthodoxy,” His Beatitude said on May 20.
“Saint John Jacob, named by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem the New Chozebite, and Elders Dionisie Ignat and Petroniu Tănase are like ambassadors of the Romanian people before the Holy Trinity and as lights for us so that we can follow their faith and the example of their lives, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the joy of the Church,” the Patriarch of Romania concluded.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene