The Diocese of Severin and Strehaia celebrated its 350th anniversary on Sunday in the former diocesan residence, Strehaia Monastery.
The festivities featured the laying of the cornerstone for a chapel dedicated to Saint Theophano Basarab, the first-known Romanian nun canonized by the Holy Synod earlier this year.
Local and central authorities attended, including Alin Isuf, Prefect of Mehedinți County, Aladin Georgescu, President of Mehedinți County Council, Ionică Negru, Vice-President of Mehedinți County Council, and Ioan Giura, Mayor of Strehaia, attended the festivities.
The events started with the blessing of a memorial cross about seven meters high near the entrance of Strehaia Monastery, built at the initiative of His Grace Bishop Nicodim of Severin and Strehaia.
The service was officiated by Metropolitan Irineu of Oltenia, who was joined by Archbishop Varsanufie of Râmnic, Bishop Lucian of Caransebeș, Bishop Nicodim of Severin and Strehaia, and Bishop Siluan of Hungary, as well as numerous local clergy.
After the blessing service and the laying of the foundation stone, the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful processed in front of the monastery’s church, where the Divine Liturgy was celebrated on a platform.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan of Oltenia spoke about the importance of the 350th anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese of Strehaia (today, the Diocese of Severin and Strehaia). The metropolitan also explained the parable of the unmerciful rich man and the poor Lazarus.
Bishop Nicodim expressed his delight and gratitude for the presence of the hierarchs, clergy, and believers.
The hierarchs blessed a second memorial cross commemorating the 100th anniversary of Bishop Gherasim Saffirin of blessed memory in the church where the former bishop was baptized in Izvoral.
On October 31, the “Saint John Chrysostom” cultural-missionary center in Drobeta Turnu Severin conducted a conference titled “The Land of Severin – People. Deeds. Places.”