Vadu Negrilesei, Suceava, Romania, December 6, 2021
The memory of Elder Cleopa (Ilie), one of the greatest elders of the 20th century, who has been proposed for canonization by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 2025, was honored in the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuți on Thursday, December 2, with the consecration of his mountain cell and a holy spring.
December 2 marked the 23rd anniversary of his repose in the Lord.
The cell in the Stânisoara Mountains, restored in 2015 at the initiative of the local faithful, is located at the spot where Elder Cleopa was forced to hide from the persecuting Communist regime, reports the Basilica News Agency.
As one of the most beloved spiritual fathers in Romania, Elder Cleopa was also one of the state’s main targets. He spent many years living in almost total seclusion, praying for the suffering Romanian people and for the whole world. He retreated to the Stânisoara Mountains in the 1950s.
The consecration service was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Damaschin, Vicar of the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuți, together with a number of priests and deacons. The day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Vadu Negrilesei.
When the cell was restored in 2015, local priest Fr. Marius Drelciuc also helped beautify the space around the cell, adding crosses and signs pointing the way.
At its session on February 25, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided to begin the canonization process of a dozen confessors and missionaries who suffered under Communism, to mark the 140th anniversary of autocephaly and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Patriarchate in 2025.
Specific names were first announced early the next month, including the great Elder Cleopa.