Twenty-seven students from Timişoara received Wednesday, 20 April 2016, the blessing of the Romanian Patriarch.
The students of St Anthimos the Ivirite Elementary School in Timişoara were welcomed by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel in the Patriarch Teoctist Hall of the Patriarchal Residence in Bucharest. The children chanted the troparion of St Anthimos the Ivirite and the megalynarion Axion estin (It is truly meet). The group of students undertook a pilgrimage in the capital city of Romania.
The Head of the Romanian Orthodox Church congratulated them for undertaking the pilgrimage on the footsteps of St Anthimos, and addressed them referring to the personality of the Great Hierarch.
“We are glad that this group of beautiful, diligent and charming students have become pilgrims on the footsteps of St Hieromartyr Anthimos the Ivirite. It is surprising to learn that an Orthodox school in Timişoara is under the patronage of a Holy Hierarch who is better known in (the region of) Wallachia. This means that Orthodoxy honours its heavenly praying saints regardless of their ethnic origin and regardless of the country where they have laboured. St Anthimos the Ivirite or the Georgian was a foreigner, but he loved the Romanian people so much and he identified himself with the life of the Romanian Orthodox Church that he became a defender of the Metropolis of Wallachia. His defensive attitude towards Romanian Orthodoxy during the Ottoman domination lead to his martyrical death. This Saint was a great confessor”, His Beatitude said.
In the end, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel offered the little pilgrims the book of St Anthimos the Ivirite, Flower of Gifts, in a children’s edition published by the Basilica Publishing House of the Romanian Patriarchate. The children also received the latest issue of The Call of Faith Journal for children and family of the Romanian Patriarchate.
The little ones were impressed to meet the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church:
“I think it is very important to meet the Patriarch. He looked very gentle, understanding and you can tell he knows many things”.
“He looks very beautiful. I liked the exhibition and I liked the Patriarch. His words still linger in my mind. I like the book, I have looked at it and I find it very beautiful. I would come again”.
“(It was) Very touching (to meet the Patriarch of Romania). I was nervous when I offered him the flowers and stood next to him and chanted. It looks like children come to his heart quickly”.
The children had the chance to visit the permanent exhibition in the Museum of Patriarchs and bowed down in the historical Chapel of St Great Martyr George.
The students undertook a pilgrimage, which included several monasteries in the Archdiocese of Râmnic and the St Anthimos Monastery in Bucharest. Four professors and Fr. Timotei Anişorac accompanied them.
Fr Timotei thanked His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel for receiving them, and for his encouragement and blessing.
“We hope God will help this project of ours to develop – being probably the most important one in the Archdiocese of Timişoara – St Anthimos the Ivirite School and Troitsa (Holy Trinity) Kindergarten, and that at the end of studies these children will become true Orthodox Christians and true people of our country”.
St Anthimos the Ivirite Orthodox School is a project of Prologos Association, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Timişoara. The educational institution has been operating since 2009 and currently has 140 students, teacher Mariana Mera said.
“Education in our school starts by respecting Christian Orthodox values. There are many extracurricular activities and projects, there is a School Journal, with several issues published, and in which children, parents and professors write”.