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Relics of St Demetrius the New to tour Bucharest Archdiocese on 250th anniversary of their translation to Romania

The Archdiocese of Bucharest is preparing to mark the initial church celebration honoring the transfer of Saint Demetrius the New Relics to Bucharest.

The observance, which the Holy Synod has scheduled for July 13 in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church, will be headed by a procession with the relics of the saint that will pass through dozens of churches across the archdiocese.

On February 12, Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova and representatives from the thirteen deaneries of the Archdiocese of Bucharest convened at the “Dumitru Stăniloae” Centre for Continuous Formation in the Capital to prepare for this complex event.

The meeting was attended by Father Costel Burlacu, eparchial vicar of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, Father Dumitru Ștefănescu, eparchial adviser at the Administrative-Church Sector, and Hierodeacon Macarie Grigoriu, administrator of the Patriarchal Cathedral.

Bp Timotei of Prahova met with representatives of the 13 deaneries in the Bucharest Archdiocese to prepare the diocese-wide tour with the relics of St Demetrius the New, Feb. 12. Photo: / Raluca Ene

“Based on a predetermined schedule and considering factors such as philanthropy, missionary endeavors, and the significance of particular monasteries and churches, the holy relics shall traverse Prahova and Ilfov counties and culminate at the citadel of Bucharest,” Assistant Bishop Timotei of Prahova said according to the Romanian Patriarchate’s newspaper.

Fr. Costel Burlacu, diocesan vicar. Photo: / Raluca Ene

“There are many testimonies from the 19th century, but also the 20th century. Just recently, someone told me that in Vintilă Vodă Parish in Ilfov County, in 1947, shortly before the establishment of the communist regime, the relics of Saint Demetrius stopped there.”


The tour of the saint’s relics throughout the diocese will commence on March 4, 2024, and conclude on April 16, 2024. In each deanery, the relics of St. Demetrius the New will be transported to four parishes and one monastery.

Thus, the relics will arrive in Prahova and Ilfov counties, then in the six sectors of Bucharest, according to the following indicative program:

  • March 4 – Câmpina Deanery
  • March 5 – Ploiești North Deanery
  • March 6 – Ploiești South Deanery
  • March 11 – Vălenii de Munte Deanery
  • March 12 – Urlați Deanery
  • March 26 – Ilfov North Deanery
  • March 27 – Ilfov South Deanery
  • April 1 – Capital’s Sector 1 Deanery
  • April 2 – Capital’s Sector 2 Deanery
  • April 8 – Capital’s Sector 3 Deanery
  • April 9 – Capital’s Sector 4 Deanery
  • April 15 – Capital’s Sector 5 Deanery
  • April 16 – Capital’s Sector 6 Deanery

The exact stops will be announced later by each deanery.

“During the Solemn Year of Pastoral Care and Assistance of the Sick, priority was given to religious units that provide pastoral support in medical facilities and care for the elderly,” hierodeacon Macarie Grigoriu explained to

Each delegation will be composed of a hierarch, a priest from the Patriarchal Cathedral, a dean, and a counselor from the Diocesan Center or the diocesan vicar. Where the churches are more spacious, starting at 15:00, the mystery of the Holy Unction will be officiated.

Photo: / Raluca Ene

“The bishop will conclude each service with a brief address on the historical figure and miraculous works St. Demetrius the New has accomplished in Wallachia for the past 250 years. Patriarchal Cathedral attendees will be cordially invited to partake in the solemn celebration from July 12-14, 2024,” hierodeacon Macarie Grigoriu added.

During its meeting on July 5, 2022, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church resolved to institute the feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Demetrius the New in Bucharest.

On July 12-14 this year, the inaugural official commemoration will take place, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the relics of Saint Demetrius to Bucharest.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774, General Ivan Petrovich Saltykov transported the relics of Saint Demetrius from the village of Basarabov, located near Ruse, to Bucharest to safeguard them against an Ottoman invasion.

Upon the procession’s arrival in Bucharest, Metropolitan Gregory II of Wallachia and a prosperous merchant named Hatzi Demetrius petitioned the Russian general to beg him to bequeath the relics to the Romanian people and the Metropolis.

Their request was motivated by the saint being a Vlach, which signifies that they desired consolation for the numerous material losses and sufferings endured by Romanians during the war.

Photography courtesy of / Raluca Ene