Vadu Negrilesei, Suceava, Romania, December 5, 2022
Two of the greatest Romanian elders of the 20th century were honored on Friday with the laying of the foundation stone of a future monastery to be dedicated in their honor.
Friday, December 2, marked the 24th anniversary of the repose of Elder Cleopa (Ilie), known and beloved throughout the Orthodox world. In honor of the occasion, His Eminence Archbishop Calinic of Suceava and His Grace Bishop Damaschin of Dorneni laid and consecrated the foundation stone of the Monastery of Elders Cleopa and Paisie (Olaru), reports the Archdiocese of Suceava.
Both Elder Cleopa and Elder Paisie are among those who will be canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 2025 to mark the 140th anniversary of autocephaly and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Patriarchate.
The monastery is being built in Vadu Negrilesei, Suceava, near one of the sites where Elder Cleopa labored for years in hermitic asceticism due to the persecutions of the communist authorities. His cell at the site, which was restored in 2015, was consecrated on December 2 last year.
The festivities this year began with Matins and the Divine Liturgy, celebrated in the clearing near Elder Cleopa’s cell. The clergy and people then went to the cell to serve a memorial service for the great elders.
In the afternoon, the hierarchs, surrounded by a number of priests and deacons, laid the foundation stone for a future church to be dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit and Elders Cleopa and Paisie.
The Archdiocese published a video showing the plans for the future monastery in March.
Following the service, Church awards were given to those who helped make the construction of the monastery possible.
Abp. Calinic then offered talk about Elders Cleopa and Paisie and Ioanichie (Balan), whom he called, “three venerable monks par excellence, dignified, upright and moral, conciliatory, full of goodness and not tempted by vain conceits.”
“Their mission and experience compelled them to a similar behavior to the Holy Fathers, or even, why not, the Holy Apostles,” His Eminence continued. “They lived and experienced the monastic life in its authenticity.”
They never abandoned their principles, even amidst the most terrible persecutions, the hierarch said, and “for the faithful, they were a source of living water.”
The consecration service was broadcast live on the Archdiocese’s social media:
Donations towards the construction of the monastery can be sent to the Archdiocese of Suceavea at the Romanian Commercial Bank:
in lei: RO51 RNCB 0234 0370 1091 0014
in euros: RO78 RNCB 0234 0370 1091 0110
in dollars: RO30 RNCB 0234 0370 1091 0004
In February of this year, the new monastic living quarters at at Coșula Monastery in Western Moldavia was consecrated in honor of Elders Cleopa and Paisie.