Fr. Costică Demetriu Popa, long-time missionary to Latin America, reposes in the Lord

Bucharest, February 22, 2024

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The first Romanian Orthodox missionary priest to Latin America, who labored there for more than four decades, has reposed in the Lord.

Fr. Costică Demetriu Popa, who was first sent to Venezuela in 1968, was a month shy of his 99th birthday when he reposed in the Lord, reports the Basilica News Agency.

A parish dedicated to Sts. Constantine and Helen was established in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, by the efforts of Fr. Costică, with a wooden church in the Maramureș style.

May Fr. Costică’s memory be eternal!


His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel recounts the life of the missionary priest in his condolences message.

Fr. Costică was born on March 25, 1925, in the town of Beceni, Buzău County. His father was the mayor of the commune.

He graduated from the Theological Seminary in Buzău and the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, after which he was ordained to the priesthood on November 2, 1946. He served in the Diocese of Buzău for seven years until he was forced out of his native place by the godless regime. He then served in the Metropolis of Oltenia.

Fr. Costică was then sent to Venezuela in 1968, thus becoming the first Romanian Orthodox missionary priest to Latin America. After 31 years of sacrificial service there, he saw the fulfillment of a dream when the Church of Sts. Constantine and Helen was consecrated by His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist in 1999.

The missionary priest also occasionally served in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama.

He was twice awarded with the Patriarchal Cross and several other ecclesiastical awards for his labors.

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