In a message for the Sunday of Myrrh-bearing Women Sunday, May 8, 2022, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel conveyed congratulations and blessings “to all women who cultivate and confess, through prayer, in word and deed, the faith in the crucified and risen Christ.”
His Beatitude highlighted that the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women have become “role models for all faithful women who, over the centuries, have carried in their souls the light of Christ.”
“Christian women in the life of the Church followed the will of Christ, as did the Mother of God, the Myrrh-bearing Women, the Holy Female Martyrs, the Venerable Mother, and the whole line of all Holy Women, inscribed in the church calendar and honoured by the Church,” the Patriarch of Romania noted.
The Holy Myrrh-bearing Women and the Mother of God are intercessors for Christian women: full text
Christ is risen!
The Orthodox Church has dedicated a particular Sunday to the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, the third Sunday of Pascha, thereby recognizing and appreciating their role as confessors and heralds of the Resurrection of Christ.
In contrast to the fear shown by His disciples, who locked themselves in the house where the Mystical Supper took place, the Myrrh-bearing Women showed courage and faithfulness and went to the tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ, becoming worthy to see Him first risen from the dead. Living next to the Mother of God, the Myrrh-bearing Women learned from her, at the time of the preaching of the gospel by Christ the Lord, to fulfil “whatever he says” (John 2: 5).
Through their chosen virtues, the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women have become role models for all faithful women who, over the centuries, have carried the light of Christ in their souls with holiness proving the same power of sacrifice and service of fulfilling the law of merciful love that generates communion and joy.
Christian women in the life of the Church followed the will of Christ, as did the Mother of God, the Myrrh-bearing Women, the Holy Female Martyrs, the Venerable Mother, and the whole line of all Holy Women, inscribed in the church calendar and honoured by the Church.
On this blessed basis, two years ago (2020), the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church declared the third Sunday of Pascha as the Sunday of Christian Women (Decision No. 4014/22 July 2020).
This initiative to value the faith and courage of Christian women highlights the importance of women’s missionary work in the life of the Church and Romanian society.
In the context of 2022, proclaimed in the Romanian Patriarchate as a Solemn Year of prayer in the Church’s life and the Christian’s life, we remember with gratitude our mothers and grandmothers, who taught us the first prayers and directed our steps towards the Holy Church, the educators, teachers and professors of Religion, who instilled in the children and young people the faith in the crucified and risen Christ, forming them as right-believing sons and daughters of the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Romanian people.
Prayer to God and His Saints has warmed the hearts and enlightened the minds of Christian women, encouraging them in times of distress and filling their souls with joy and hope in times of peace, giving them the spirit of humble and sacrificial love as wives and mothers, strengthening the Christian family.
Praying with great confidence and in every circumstance of life, especially to the Most Holy Mother of God, Christian women likened her humble love for Christ the Lord and His Church.
Also, this May, the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates National Family Day on Sunday, May 15, 2022, to show appreciation and help families who give birth, raise and educate all their children with much faith, hope and Christian love.
In today’s Romanian society, faithful women strive, in the family or in the monastery, in schools, hospitals and other institutions, to fulfil their vocation or mission “in the name of the Lord” (Colossians 3:17), having time for prayer and generous acts of almsgiving, sharing with those around them Christian kindness and joy, being in the family, in the Church, and society true lights, lit from the light of the risen Christ.
On the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women and the other two holidays dedicated to Christian Women and Family, we extend congratulations and blessings to all women who cultivate and confess, through prayer, in word and deed, the faith in the crucified and risen Christ, giving much light and joy to the Church, family and society.
We pray to God to give all women and right-believing families, as He first offered to the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, joy and blessing to confess the risen Lord Jesus Christ and actively participate in the life of His Church.
We wish everyone good health and happiness, peace and holy joy for many blessed years!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu