Vânători-Neamț, Romania, August 13, 2019
The church at a skete of the historic and hugely influential Romanian Neamț Monastery was reconsecrated on Sunday, following a devastating fire several years ago.
The rite of consecration at the Holy Protection Skete, one of seven belonging to Neamț Monastery, was celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Theophan of Moldova and Bukovina with His Grace Bishop Macarie of Northern Europe and the Patriarchal vicar Bishop Varlaam Ploieșteanul, reports the Basilica News Agency.
More than 1,500 pilgrims were present to see their beloved skete be blessed again following the extensive reconstruction work following the 2010 fire that damaged the cells and several annexes of the hermitage.
During the service, Hierodeacon Onufrie Bunduc was ordained as a hieromonk, and the abbot of the skete, Hieromonk Ambrozhie Ghinescu, was elevated to the rank of protsinghel.
Those present had the opportunity to venerate the relics of the Holy Hierarch Pahomie, the founder of the skete, which were miraculously discovered in the church on September 9, 2013.
During his homily, Met. Theophan spoke about the unfortunate divisions that exist in our world since the time of the Fall of Adam and the time of the Tower of Babel, emphasizing that the key to overcoming these divisions is to all partake of the same spiritual nourishment in the Orthodox Church. He also called upon the Orthodox clergy and faithful to share this spiritual food and drink with the hungry and thirsty world.
Neamț Monastery is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Romania, considered a jewel of 15th-century Romanian architecture. It is perhaps best known as the home of the great St. Paisius Velichkovsky, who turned the monastery into a center of monastic life and hesychasm for Moldavia, Romania, and Russia. It also became a center of Patristic studies, and St. Paisius is known as the translator of a number of works into Slavonic, including the Philokalia.
The Holy Protection Skete is located about 2.5 miles southwest of the main monastery at the foot of Chiriacu Mountain. The skete was founded in 1674 by a Transylvanian who received the name Pahmoie in monasticism in 1697. He later received the name Pimen when tonsured into the schema.
After an archbishopric of seven years, he returned to the skete and began construction of the wooden church with his disciples. The icons were painted in the Byzantine-Athonite style.
There are currently 9 brothers in addition to the abbot laboring in the skete. The skete, loved by many, is also known as the Heavenly Glade.