Priests and believers carried a wonderworking icon of the Theotokos and the blessed relics of the Wallachian Metropolitan Saint Gregory the Teacher during a 162 km long procession that passed through 17 localities on Saturday.
This was the first time when the holy relics of Saint Gregory the Teacher were taken out of Caldarusani Monastery, a renowned monastic settlement near Bucharest that dates back to the seventeenth century.
The Ilfov Nord Deanery organized the procession in partnership with Caldarusani and Sitaru Monasteries.
The procession, entitled ‘Travelers with the Saints to Christ’, covered 162 km, and stopped in 17 localities: Nuci, Gruiu, Ghermănești, Periș, Balotești, Corbeanca, Buftea, Mogoșoaia, Otopeni, Tunari, Ștefăneștii de Jos, Voluntari, Afumaiach, Petr Gagu, Dascălu and Moara Vlăsiei.
“This year, people are going through a period of trial. With God’s help, today we are carrying out this historical procession, in the hope that, through the intercession of Saint Gregory the Teacher, the people will be delivered from disease,” Fr. Cristian Burcea said June 20.
In several localities, the procession made short stops for prayer, with priests asking for deliverance from the COVID-19 epidemic and for quiet, fruitful rains. The petitions also included prayers for students sitting for national exams.
It is no coincidence that Saint Gregory received the title of “Teacher”. He was the founder of theological schools and, when he reposed in the Lord, the only fortune discovered in his cell were books, which he left with a will to young people who want to learn,” the priest explained for Trinitas TV.
Archimandrite Lavrentie Gâță, the abbot of Căldărușani Monastery, noted that it is for the first time when the relics of the Holy Metropolitan of Wallachia come out of the monastery. The Icon of the Mother of God was carried in a short procession 15 years ago when there was a terrible drought.
“We took her out of the church after a Divine Liturgy on a feast day and, together with the people, we went to Cocioc and returned, offering the prayers and petitions. After a few hours, in the evening, it rained,” said the archimandrite remembering the miraculous intervention of the Theotokos through her blessed icon.
The procession was also attended by Daniel-Tudorel Zamfir, the prefect of Ilfov County, Daniel Gheorghe, deputy of Ilfov, and other local authorities. The convoy was accompanied by crews of the Romanian Police and Gendarmerie.
On Monday, June 22, Căldărușani Monastery celebrated its patron saint, Metropolitan Gregory the Teacher.
Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Luigi Ivanciu