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Romania’s former patriarchs Teoctist and Iustin, who “pastored the Church in challenging times”, prayerfully remembered at patriarchal cathedral

On Sunday, the patriarchal auxiliary bishop Paisie of Sinaia officiated a memorial service at the tombs of Romania’s former patriarchs Teoctist Arăpașu (†July 30, 2007) and Iustin Moisescu (†July 31, 1986) to mark the anniversaries of their blessed repose.

Preaching by their tombs inside the Patriarchal Cathedral, His Grace Bishop Paisie of Sinaia said that the two patriarchs “pastored the Church of Christ in Romania in challenging times when Romania had to suffer hostility from the atheist communist regime.”

His Grace briefed the biographies of the two former Primates of the Romanian Orthodox Church, calling them “burning lights in the ministry of the Church.”

“Patriarch Iustin served as Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church for nine years (1977-1986) and stood out for his fidelity to the Church’s doctrine, solid academic training, erudition, competence and balance, being a representative figure of Romanian Orthodoxy at the international level,” the patriarchal auxiliary bishop said on July 30.

“Patriarch Teoctist had a longer ministry. For 21 years, he pastored the Romanian Orthodox Church in the dignity of Patriarch (1986-2007),” the bishop recalled.

His Beatitude said that much has been said and written about the two patriarchs, but Patriarch Daniel is one of the most devoted promoters of his predecessors.

“As a venerable Romanian hierarch with the vocation of a chronicler remarked, the richest and most consistent words of evocation of Patriarch Teoctist and the other patriarchs remain the words of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.”

“Remarkably, no Patriarch has written so much, so densely and dynamically, about his predecessor to the patriarchal throne, as His Beatitude has done, that whoever reads these evocations will have in his mind and his heart the luminous face of Patriarch Teoctist of blessed memory, consigned for posterity in the History of the Romanian Orthodox Church,” bishop Paisie said quoting Archbishop Calinic of Argeș and Muscel.

“His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has devoted himself with great dedication to honouring the memory of all his ancestors,” the bishop stressed.

“The achievements of Patriarch Iustin and Patriarch Teoctist, whom we commemorate today, remain all the more important and increase in value, knowing that these achievements were accomplished in circumstances that were vital for the faith and life of the Church, during the difficult period of communist rule,” His Grace Bishop Paisie of Sinaia noted.

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Photography courtesy of / Mircea Florescu