Romania: Elders Paisie (Olaru) and Dionisie (Ignat) proposed for canonization

Botoșani, Romania, August 2, 2021

L to R: Elders Dionisie, Paisie, Cleopa. Photo: L to R: Elders Dionisie, Paisie, Cleopa. Photo:     

The names of two more of the holy elders under consideration for canonization in 2025 by the Romanian Orthodox Church were revealed over the weekend.

According to a statement made by His Eminence Metropolitan Teofan of Moldova and Bukovina while visiting St. George Church in Botoșani, Elders Paisie (Olaru), Dionisie (Ignat), and Cleopa (Ilie) are being considered for canonization, reports Agerpres.

The coming canonization of Elder Cleopa was already known, having been announced, together with the renowned theologian Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae, and Elder Gherasim (Iscu) of Tismana Monastery in March. The five named elders and confessors who suffered under Communism are among a dozen that the Romanian Church intends to canonize in 2025 to mark the 140th anniversary of autocephaly and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Patriarchate, as announced by the Holy Synod in February.

Met. Teofan also revealed that they hope to have memorial houses built to the three Elders by the time of their canonizations. His Eminence earlier spoke of intentions to turn Elder Cleopa’s childhood home into a memorial house during a visit in February 2020.


The Romanian Patriarchate’s Basilica News Agency provides biographical information on Elders Paisie and Ignatie:

Elder Paisie (Olaru) was born on June 20, 1897, in Stroieşti, Lunca Commune, Botoşani County.

He entered the community of the Cozancea-Botoşani Hermitage in 1921, and a year later he was tonsured as a monk with the name Paisie.

He was ordained a deacon on October 14, 1943, and a priest in April 1947. He was abbot of the hermitage for a year, from 1947-1948.

In 1948 he retired to the Neamţ Monastery, between 1949-1953 he lived at the Slatina-Suceava Monastery, and from 1954, at the Sihăstria Monastery. Between 1972 and 1984 he lived at the Sihla Hermitage.

He reposed in the Lord on October 18, 1990 at the Sihăstria Monastery.

Elder Dionisie (Ignat) was born on September 22, 1909, in the Vorniceni Commune in Botoşani County.

In the 1920s he went with his brother to the Holy Mountain and was tonsured as a monk in 1927.

Revered by monks and pilgrims from all over the world, Fr. Dionisie distinguished himself in his 78 years of monastic life on the Holy Mountain as a great hermit and the confessor of many Athonite fathers, abbots, hieromonks, hermits, monks, and pilgrims, including Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, a spiritual child of St. Joseph the Hesychast.

He was recognized as a skilled worker of the Jesus Prayer. Fr. Dionisie also had close spiritual ties with St. Paisios, the Hieroschemamonk Ioan Guțu, and Archimandrite Petroniu Tănase, the abbot of the Romanian Prodromu Hermitage.

Elder Dionisie reposed in the Lord on April 11/28, 2004, at the age of 95, being considered one of the greatest clerics of the Holy Mountain.

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