Local Churches unite to celebrate Georgian-Romanian St. Anthimos the Iberian

Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania, September 29, 2022

Photo: basilica.ro Photo: basilica.ro     

Every year, the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of St. Anthimos the Iberian, a Holy Hierarch of Georgian origin who served as abbot and bishop in 17th-18th century Wallachia.

St. Anthimos was one of the most highly educated people of his time. He was fluent in many languages, including Greek, Romanian, Old Slavonic, Arabic, and Turkish and well-versed in theology, literature, and the natural sciences. Thus, he is loved throughout the Orthodox world, and his feast typically brings together hierarchs, clergy, and pilgrims of various Local Churches.

On Monday, his feast was celebrated in Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania, where he served as bishop for three years and where he is honored as the patron saint of the city. This year the Liturgy was concelebrated by hierarchs from the Romanian, Georgian, and Antiochian Churches, reports the Basilica News Agency.

The local hierarch, His Eminence Archbishop Varsanufie of Râmnic presided over the Liturgy, while a visiting hierarch of the Georgian Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Theodor of Akhaltsikhe and Tao-Klarjeti offered the homily.

Photo: basilica.ro Photo: basilica.ro     

They were joined by several other Romanian hierarchs, and His Grace Bishop Qais of Erzurum, Vicar of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch.

Other Georgia guests included Abbot Grigori of the St. Anthimos Monastery, the Irmisa Children’s Choir from St. Anthimos’ native village, and several public officials.

Abp. Varsanufie spoke about the Holy Hierarch as a “model of virtue … in whom obedience and the fulfillment of God’s will were joined to humility.” He also spoke of the saint’s tireless labors in bringing the truths of the faith to the people through his preaching and literary activities.

Tuesday’s Liturgy was the culmination of a wider series of cultural and religious events dedicated to the saint.

Read more about St. Anthimos here.

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