Mother Alexandra, Romanian princess and foundress of Pennsylvania monastery, honored on 30th anniversary of repose

Iaşi, Romania, January 26, 2021

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Princess Ileana, the last princess of Romania, better known in America as Mother Alexandra, the foundress of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, was honored in Iaşi on the 30th anniversary of her repose.

The management of the Iași National Athenaeum, a public cultural institution, opened a photo exhibition in honor of Princess Ileana-Mother Alexandra, and a memorial service was held in honor of her repose, reports the Basilica News Agency.

The parastas memorial service was held in the Artists’ Chapel at the Athenaeum and attended by the institution’s management, employees, and collaborators. All the members of the Romanian royal house who have reposed in the Lord were prayerfully commemorated.

Born the youngest daughter to King Ferdinand I and Queen Maria of Romanian in 1909, Princess Ileana was forced to flee her homeland after the communist takeover and eventually ended up founding and serving as first abbess of the Monastery of the Transfiguration in 1968. She reposed in the Lord on January 21, 1991, at the age of 82. She is buried at the monastery.

The Orthodox Church in America also writes in honor of the 30th anniversary of her repose:

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the repose on January 21, 1991 of Mother Alexandra, founding abbess of the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, PA. Scion of the Royal Family of Romania, she was born in 1909. After exile from Romania due to its takeover by a Communist regime, she moved to the United States in 1950. A decade later, she began to discern a monastic vocation and entered a convent in France to gain experience as a nun. In 1967, she returned to America to establish a monastery for women, which would have services in English and build up a monastic foundation for the missionary vision of American Orthodoxy. For the next 24 years, Mother Alexandra was abbess of the Monastery of the Transfiguration for over a decade until her retirement, traveled widely for speaking engagements, wrote spiritual treatises and remained the monastery’s spiritual leader until her repose following a brief illness. The monastery, a flourishing community today, continues to live by her spiritual teachings and promote her legacy by publishing her writings. May her memory be eternal and may her teachings and prayers continue to strengthen the spiritual growth of the Orthodox Church in America.

Read more about Mother Alexandria in the article, “Royal Lady, Pious Nun—Princess Ileana-Mother Alexandra.”

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