Abbot of the Romanian Skete, Mt. Athos, Reposes in the Lord

On February 22, 2011, Hieroschemamonk Petroniu (Tănase) reposed in the Lord. He was the abbot of the Romanian Podromu Skete (dedicated to the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner) on the Holy Mountain of Athos. The blessed elder was a great spiritual authority not only on Mt. Athos, but also throughout Greece and in his native Romania. The monks of Romanian and Moldavian origin all considered him their spiritual father. His book of spiritual contemplations, The Doors of Repentance, has been translated into several European languages. As everyone knows, Fr. Petroniu was asked to be Patriarch of Romania twice, but the elder humbly refused.

Brothers of the skete and Hieroschemamonk Petroniu (leaning on his staff) with the copy of the icon of the Mother of God "Prodromissa." Photo, Vitaly Kicelov Brothers of the skete and Hieroschemamonk Petroniu (leaning on his staff) with the copy of the icon of the Mother of God "Prodromissa." Photo, Vitaly Kicelov
Not long before his death, Fr. Petroniu, age 94, retired from his duties as abbot, and gave himself entirely over to prayer.

The Romanian Prodromu (Nativity of St. John the Forerunner) Skete, Mt. Athos The Romanian Prodromu (Nativity of St. John the Forerunner) Skete, Mt. Athos
Bishop Chrysostom of Rodostol, who lives in retirement at the Lavra of St. Athanasius, presided at the burial. The Romanian Skete is located on the Lavra's land. He was joined by the brothers of the Skete, representatives of other Mt. Athos monasteries, and pilgrims from Romania in the priestly rank.

*   *   *

Hieromonk Petroniu (in the world, Peter Tănase) was born to a peasant family in Romania on May 23, 1916. He received the monastic tonsure in 1940 in the monastery of Sihastria. When the communists came to power, he was persecuted many times for his faith. From 1964–69, he was under house arrest with no right to serve as a priest. He arrived at the Holy Mountain of Athos in 1978. During his time as abbot of the Skete (from 1984), he completed much restoration work there. During his abbacy, the walls of the cathedral were painted, a new archandarik (guesthouse) was built, and a convenient road was constructed connecting the Skete to the Lavra. During Fr. Petroniu's time, the Romanian monk, Antipas of Valaam, who received the tonsure in Podromu Skete, was canonized first by the Russian Church, and then by the Romanian Church. In May, 1998, Archimandrite (now Archbishop) Pangraty, the Abbot of Valaam Monastery, gave Fr. Petroniu at his request a piece of the relics of St. Antipas as a blessing to the holy monk's original monastic community. One of Elder Petroniu's final works was to bring a copy of the Skete's main holy shrine to Russia: the miraculous icon of the Mother of God "Prodomissa," or "Self-Painted." This event took place in June 2010, during the 300 year celebration of Tsarskoe Selo, and the consecration by Patriarch Kirill of the St. Catherine Cathedral in Tsarskoe Selo.

Maxim Klimenko, for

Translated by

*   *   *

Fr. Petroniu (Tănase). Fr. Petroniu (Tănase).
"There is a program in everything man does. His inheritance and everything he does comes from deep inside of him. And those [things] carve on his face features either beautiful or ugly, according to the way he lives his life. But these also carve themselves into man's inner being. Now they are invisible. One does not see the consequences on other forms. One can only notice them on the face. But in the end, when the age of man is concluded, then the final result of all his thoughts and deeds will occur. Everything he did will contribute to the shaping of a his being in a certain way, and his external appearance will show everything he did in his life, everything he thought. We can't see it now, but it will be visible then. We say during the service: 'When the books shall open for the Divine Judgment … those things that are hidden shall become visible.'"

"The poison of sin cannot be cut with sweet-smelling water; the medicine must be strong, not by half-measure...if you liked the false sweetness of sin, then you ought to taste the bitter cure. As the patient suffers surgery, cutting, bitter remedies, knowing that they bring much-needed health, so we endure the labors of Job...[so that] we are worthy of the uninterrupted joy of the eternal Pascha."

Hieroschemamonk Petroniu


Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required