Bucharest, October 7, 2020
A new memorial house-museum has been set up in Bucharest, dedicated to Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae, one of the most respected Orthodox theologians of the 20th century.
The museum was set up by the Old St. George parish on the ground floor of the parish house in the church’s courtyard, reports the Basilica News Agency.
As the rector Fr. Sorin Tancău explained, “The initiative to organize a parish museum started from the fact that the famous theologian lived there for a while with his wife and daughter, Lidia, starting in 1947.”
The memorial house, “brings to the fore the luminous face of the theologian appreciated throughout the Orthodox world,” was organized as a debt of gratitude for Fr. Stăniloae’s missionary activity, Fr. Tancău said.
The museum will officially open once the coronavirus pandemic has been overcome, the priest said, with plans to host book launches, theological discussions, courses and seminars for students, and media shows. It is also hoped that the museum will become a place of pilgrimage. The parish is also currently working on a virtual tour and a short film in several languages for international circulation.
The arrangement of the museum began in the spring of 2019 at the parish’s expense. The archive images of Fr. Stăniloae were a source of inspiration for the organization of the museum.
The first room is arranged as is seen in many photos of Fr. Stăniloae, with traditional icons painted on glass in the Transylvanian style, recalling his beloved hometown of Vlădeni. The second presents original Fr. Stăniloae manuscripts, along with his beloved Holy Trinity icon and icons of Sts. Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas, who greatly influenced Fr. Stăniloae’s own work.
There are also a number of photos of Fr. Stăniloae with his family, disciples, and renowned friends, such as Fr. Arsenie (Boca), as well as special stamps and medals commemorating the centenary of his birth and the Congress organized for the 110th anniversary.
Fr. Dumitru (November 16, 1903-October 5, 1993) is known for a number of Patristic translations and studies and works of dogmatic theology. He spent more than 45 years working on a Romanian translation of The Philokalia, and also produced commentaries on Fathers such as St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Maximus the Confessor, and St. Athanasius of Alexandria. His 1978 work, The Dogmatic Orthodox Theology, established him as one of the foremost theologians of the second half of the 20th century.
In all, the intellectual legacy left by Fr. Stăniloae consists of: 90 books, 33 translations, 275 theological articles, 22 reviews, 16 prefaces, 35 commemorative speeches, 475 newspaper articles, 17 interviews, 15 published sermons, and 60 recorded conversations or interviews on radio and television.
He also spent 5 years in prison in communist Romania for his contribution to the revitalization of Orthodox life in Bucharest. He taught at a number of academic institutions and received several honorary doctorates from Orthodox schools from throughout the world.
He reposed in the Lord at the age of 90 on October 5, 1993.
The Romanian Orthodox Church’s Basilica Publishing House is currently in the midst of printing the complete works of Fr. Stăniloae, and has just announced that vol. 13, on ascetic theology and mysticism, will be released by the end of October, containing Fr. Stăniloae’s translation of the works of Sts. Cyril of Alexandria, Gregory Palamas, Athanasius the Great, Maximus the Confessor, Dionysius the Areopagite, Symeon the New Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, John Climacus, and Gregory the Theologian.
Last month, a memorial house to Elder Sofian Bogui was opened in his native village of Cuconeștii Vechi, Bălți County in what is today northern Moldova. In February, the Metropolitan of Moldova and Bukovina announced that there are plans to build a similar memorial to the great Elder Cleopa (Ilie) in his hometown of Sulița, within the Archdiocese of Iași.