Message of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church at the consecration of the Romanian church in the Swedish city of Jönköping dedicated to the “Protection of the Mother of God and Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit and Saint Pious Paisie from Neamţ”
Sunday, 28 February 2016
The consecration of the church dedicated to the “Protection of the Mother of God and Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit and Saint Pious Paisie from Neamţ” of the Swedish city of Jönköping, within the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe, is a great blessed event for our Church in general, and for the Romanian Orthodox community of this city in particular.
Although far from their native places, the Romanians from this part of the world are close to their country through every Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Romanian language, where they listen to the Holy Gospel and are receive Christ, our Lord in the Eucharist. The long distance from their country and from their dear ones make the Romanians who live among foreigners better understand the words of the Holy Scriptures: “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).
Due to the three patronal feast days of their church, the Romanian Orthodox community in Jönköping is under the Protection of the Mother of God, strengthened by the prayers of Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit from Voroneţ and enlightened by the teachings of Saint Pious Paisie from Neamţ. Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit gave advice to Moldova and to Saint Steven the Great through his wise words, prayers, guidance and example. Saint Paisie from Neamţ was a pilgrim, resembling somehow many Romanians living far from their homes. During the last part of his earthly life he prepared his eternal place in the beautiful Neamţ Monastery of Moldova. This monastery, known as an important cultural centre through the translations of the spiritual books and the ethnic diversity of the monks over here, marked the entire Eastern Europe due to the work of the diligent disciples of Saint Paisie, conveying the philokalic teaching of love for everlasting spiritual beauty.
Today, after more than forty years of Romanian service in Stockholm, the Romanian community of Sweden is strengthened by the model of service and culture of the late rev. prof. dr. Alexandru Ciurea, rev. prof. dr. Stefan Sandu and rev. fr. Anton Poşircă. These worthy priests accomplished their mission until rev. fr. Toader Doroftei was appointed parish priest there in 1990. It was not easy for them to periodically come from Stockholm to Jönköping, but their efforts were completed by the worthiness and diligence of the Romanians who live there, but with deep roots in the Serbian Banat.
Once His Grace Macarie Drăgoi was enthroned as the first bishop of the newly established Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe, the young priest Ovidiu Teodor Băncilă was appointed to the new parish of Jönköping, who continued and developed the spiritual and cultural projects of his predecessors, keeping good relations with many parishes in Romania and promoting in this way the Romanian Orthodox values in the Scandinavian space.
On the occasion of the consecration of the church dedicated to the “Protection of the Mother of God, Saint Pious Daniil the Hermit and Saint Pious Paisie from Neamţ”, we congratulate His Grace Macarie, Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe, for the entire activity he unfolds in the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe, as well as parish priest Ovidiu Teodor Băncilă.
We also congratulate the entire Romanian Orthodox community in Jönköping, characterised by Christian devotion and Romanian kindliness, all the benefactors and supporters of this holy place of worship, as well as all the clergy and lay faithful present at this holy solemn event of Christian spirituality and dignity.
We pray Jesus Christ, our Saviour, to protect this church and all its parishioners and benefactors, bestowing upon them peace and joy, good health and salvation, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the joy of the Church of Christ.
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church