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Patriarchate of Romania: Historical pilgrimage with relics of St Demetrius

A historic pilgrimage with the relics of Saint Demetrius the New began on Monday morning.

Hundreds of believers waited for the reliquary with the holy relics in the first parishes of Câmpina, a city 100 km north of Bucharest.

Before departing for the first stop, His Grace patriarchal auxiliary bishop Paisie of Sinaia offered prayers of blessing in the Patriarchal Cathedral for the proper conduct of the pilgrimage.

The first stop on the route was the “Vasile Lascăr” Police Officers’ School in Câmpina. The future police officers and the school staff venerated the relics of Saint Demetrius the New and asked for his intercessions.

St. Nicholas Parish

“Saints do not require our veneration; however, the veneration of their sacred relics grants us assistance and blessings”, Bishop Paisie told the pilgrims who came to venerate the relics of Bucharest’s patron saint at Câmpina’s St Nicholas church.

“Touching his holy relics makes us feel touched by God’s grace, to remember that our final goal is the Kingdom of Heaven. In his presence, as with other saints, we need to purify our souls, sanctify our lives, and become pleasing to God again, reconciled with our neighbours, and reconciled with ourselves. We feel St. Demetrius as a good and protective companion from whom we would not bear to part.”

“We pray to our Saviour Jesus Christ, St. Nicholas, the protector of the parish, and St. Demetrius the New, to enlighten our lives, strengthen us and grant us healing and health to our souls and bodies, so that we may follow in our lives the example of the saints who were worthy of the grace and light, peace and joy of the Most Holy Trinity,” concluded the Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop.

His Grace also congratulated the priests for the social and missionary activities carried out in their community.

Great Martyr Demetrius Parish

In the parish protected by Saint Demetrius the Myrrh-Gusher and Saint Parascheva, the procession was welcomed by dean Grigore Melnic together with an assembly of priests and parishioners.

“The path followed by St. Demetrius the New so that he could reach the heights of eternal radiance is a secret that he found in the Saviour’s words and fulfilled: fasting and prayer. Through these precious virtues, St. Demetrius crowned his life. In this regard, we can say that, through his asceticism and prayer, the saint came to make his body an extension of his soul, eternally vigilant to what is pleasing to God,” His Grace Bishop Paisie explained.

The bishop extended an invitation to the inhabitants of Campina to partake in the religious observances that will occur on July 12-13 in observance of the 250th anniversary since the relics of St. Demetrius the New were translated into Romania.

“We congratulate you, beloved believers, and we pray to the Most Merciful God and St. Demetrius the New to reward your piety and effort, zeal and generosity with His rich and imperishable gifts, with health and salvation, with peace and joy, with help in your family and your work, with many and blessed years, to the glory of God, to the joy of the saints and the acquisition of salvation!”

Podu Vadului Parish

The third parochial community included on the first day of the historical pilgrimage with the relics of Saint Demetrius the New was Podu Vadului Parish.

“At this parish, documented since the 16th century, everything is new and beautiful thanks to the care of Father Laurentiu Vereș. The new church of Podu Vadului Parish, in Breaza, Prahova County, was built in 2002-2011 when it was also consecrated. But the works continued under the care of the parish priest, the church received a wonderful painting, the chapel was renovated and painted, and the whole complex was beautified.”

Bishop Paisie said, “Today, looking at the church, both from the outside and from the inside, we feel that we can testify with the words of the Horologion: While staying in the Church of Your glory, we seem to be in heaven!”

“It is known about Saint Demetrius the New that since childhood, being a shepherd for the sheep and cattle of his fellow citizens, he shared the income he earned with the poor. He was so sensitive and merciful in his soul that it is said that years ago, he repented and regretted it because he accidentally stepped on a baby bird and crushed it,” the patriarchal auxiliary bishop emphasized.

The convoy also visited Sinaia and Caraiman monasteries.

Photography courtesy of / Raluca-Emanuela Ene