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Relics of soon-to-be canonised Romanian Athonite Elder exhumed

The Patriarch of Romania delegated Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova to attend the exhumation ceremony of the relics of Elder Dionisie Ignat, which took place at St George Cell of Colciu Skete on Mount Athos last week.

The monks of Vatopedi Monastery, on whose territory the cell where Father Dionisie Ignat lived, unearthed the relics during a special ceremony on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

A service written exceptionally for this occasion was officiated immediately after the Vespers service in the presence of Athonite monks and pilgrims from Romania.

The service text included the Troparion of St. George, the protector of the cell, and the Troparion of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, assistant bishop Timotei said.

“It is not accidental that on Thursday, November 16, we commemorate a feast of Saint George the Trophy-bearer according to the Athonite calendar,” the assistant bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest said.

“At Colciu, as in other Romanian cells, as well as in other large monasteries, such as Zografou Monastery, to which Romanians are liked through the sponsorship of the holy ruler prince Stephen of Moldavia, prayers were offered in honour of the Trophy-bearer Saint George.”

“The service for the exhumation of Father Dionisie Ignat also included supplications for the departed, the Beatitudes, psalm verses, and special prayers to the Saviour.”

Other similar elders were proposed for canonization by Vatopedi monastery in the previous period. Nonetheless, the assistant bishop emphasised that comparable exhumation procedures were not undertaken regularly.

“So, the believers and the multitudes of monks on Mount Athos, the hierarchs, priests, monastics and believers in Romania who heard about his spiritual ministry turn their thoughts to God who is wonderful in his Saints and honour the life and work of Elder Dionisie Ignat, fulfilling the word of the Holy Apostle Paul to remind us of those who fulfilled the words of the Gospel, having the duty consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith,” assistant bishop Timotei of Prahova said.

This year marked 18 years since the repose of Father Dionisie Ignat, originally from Botosani, Romania. He was a contemporary of Saint John Jacob the New Chozebite and Elders Paisie Olaru and Cleopa Ilie.

At the most recent working session of the Synod of the Metropolis of Muntenia and Dobruja, the Patriarch of Romania announced that he will propose to the Ecumenical Patriarchate the canonisation of the Athonite Elders Dionisie Ignat and Petroniu Tănase.

Photography courtesy of Trinitas TV / Răzvan Clipici

Exhumation of the relics of Elder Dionisie Ignat, November 17, 2022. Photo: Trinitas TV / Răzvan Clipici

Exhumation of the relics of Elder Dionisie Ignat, November 17, 2022. Photo: Trinitas TV / Răzvan Clipici