The Patriarchal Cathedral’s square in Bucharest was filled with pilgrims coming from across Romania to celebrate the feast day of Saint Demetrios the New, the spiritual protector of the capital.
Thousands of believers waited in line for hours to bow down before the relics of St Demetrios the New, the newly-glorified Saint Dionysius Erhan, and St Philothea, a martyr associated with the Romanian village through her depiction as dressed in traditional folk costume.
People said that they waited for almost nine hours to get to offer their petitions in front of the holy relics.
St Demetrios the New’s feast day was marked by a hierarchal Divine Liturgy presided over by Patriarch Daniel with the concelebration of the members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and of guests from abroad including Metropolitan Naum of Ruse (Bulgarian Patriarchate) and Bishop Qais of Erzurum (Antioch Patriarchate).
Participants included representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Metropolis of Chisinau.
In his sermon, the Patriarch of Romania urged for humility, courage and hope, pointing to the example of the three Saints who drew thousands of believers to Bucharest this weekend.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Dionysius Erhan of Cetatea Alba and Ismail was officially declared a Saint of the Orthodox Church during a ceremony attended by state officials.
The synodal tomos on the canonization was read out by the chief secretary of the Holy Synod and patriarchal auxiliary bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti.
After offering several distinctions to the delegation of the Metropolis of Chisinau, Patriarch Daniel thanked all those who organized the celebrations and the pilgrimage dedicated to St Demetrios the New.
He addressed special thanks to the pilgrims who made the feast day ‘even more beautiful.’
‘We thank you, beloved pilgrims, because without you the patronal feast could not have been beautiful.’
‘A church, however beautiful it may be, if it has no faithful during the service is not sufficiently beautiful.’
‘The beauty of the service is given by the multitude of luminous faces of the believers who are present praying and express their communion with the Holy Trinity and with all the saints of God,’ Patriarch Daniel said October 27.
‘We wish you all good health and salvation, peace and joy and much help from God in your families and activities unto the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for our salvation,’ the Patriarch said ending his speech.