Bucharest, October 27, 2017
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania headed the transferal of the reliquary containing a portion of the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov to the spiritual center of the Romanian Patriarchate yesterday, reports patriarchia.ru.
After meeting at the Bucharest airport, the primates arrived at Patriarchal Hill in Bucharest where the Patriarchal Cathedral of Sts. Constantine and Helen is located, as well as the patriarchal palace and residence. A solemn procession under the ringing of the bells was held with the relics of St. Seraphim from the gates of the patriarchal cathedral to Sts. Constantine and Helen square.
The relics were placed before the altar, after which a moleben to St. Seraphim was celebrated. A number of hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Church participated in the prayers.
At the conclusion of the service, Pat. Daniel greeted Pat. Kirill and all participants on behalf of the clergy and laity of the Romanian Orthodox Church, saying, “Thank you, Your Beatitude, beloved concelebrant in Christ, that you have arrived for the great feast of the patriarchal cathedral and city of Bucharest, on the day of the St. Demetrios the New! The blessing and joy that the feast of St. Demetrios the New brings to us is increased this year by the presence in Bucharest of the relics of St. Seraphim the wonderworker of Sarov … who is very well known and venerated in all of Orthodoxy.”
The Romanian patriarch noted that, although St. Demetrios and St. Seraphim lived in different times and places, they share the same gift of holiness, and both experienced persecution against their relics by the communist regimes in their respective countries. Just two months after Ceaușescu banned the celebration of St. Demetrios day in 1989, his government had fallen, and the people were on the streets of Bucharest shouting “God is with us!”, as Pat. Daniel related.
2017 in the Romanian Orthodox Church has been proclaimed the year of Patriarch Justinian and the defenders of Orthodoxy under communism, “Therefore we invited His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, and also other primates of Orthodox Churches which suffered under a communist regime, to prayerfully commemorate together the memory of the confessors and defenders of Orthodoxy during the communist persecutions of the Church.”
In turn, Pat. Kirill thanked Pat. Daniel for the invitation, noting that he was excited to visit “the blessed Romanian land and to see firsthand the piety of the faithful Romanian people.”
“With love I convey to Your Beatitude these relics with the desire that by the prayers of our venerable and God-bearing father Seraphim of Sarov, the Lord would grant our countries and peoples peace and prosperity for many years,” Pat. Kirill concluded.
Then the relics and an icon of St. Seraphim were placed with the relics of St. Demetrios for the veneration of the large number of believers that had gathered for the celebrations.