Over 4,000 young Christians from all across the world attended the opening ceremony of the Romanian Patriarchate’s annual International Meeting of Orthodox Youth (ITO 2019) at Mihai Viteazul Square in Craiova on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.
Addressing those present was Patriarch Daniel who said that through faith, hope and love, young people form ‘a chalice of joy’.
The opening of the sixth ITO edition was moderated by Aurelian Temișan and actress Manuela Hărăbor.
After all the 51 delegations presented their flags, a Te Deum service was officiated by the assistant bishop to the Arad Archdiocese, His Grace Emilian of Loviște.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel spoke about how ‘Young people are a blessing and a joy to the society’.
‘Through faith, hope and love you become a Chalice of joy,’ Patriarch Daniel told the young participants.
His Beatitude added that Orthodox youth also become ‘apostles or missionaries of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you cultivate sincere love in family, in friendship, in parish, in eparchy, in society and in all national and international Orthodox meetings, to the joy of the whole of Orthodoxy and the communion between the peoples of the world.’
The local Metropolitan Irineu of Oltenia stressed that ‘this year’s Youth Meeting in Craiova lays under the sign of a dialogue exercise.’
‘The first role of this dialogue is for everyone to open up to novelty. It is important that in this dialogue we feel free to receive and to understand others,’ His Eminence added.
Following the ITO torch lighting and the meeting anthem singing, the evening concluded with an artistic performance held by soprano Felicia Filip, musician Tudor Gheorghe, the vocal-instrumental group of the Ramnic Archdiocese and the Folk Generation Band.
Check out our extensive photo gallery from the ITO 2019 opening!