Patriarch Daniel: St Paisios of Neamt Has Founded a School of Spirituality for Whole Orthodoxy

Aurelian Iftimiu | 17 October 2020

Patriarch Daniel on Thursday blessed a processional reliquary containing a fragment of the relics of St Paisios of Neamț, saying that the Saint founded a school of spirituality useful for the whole Orthodoxy.

St. Paisios of Neamț (Velichkovsky) organized and guided monastic communities at Dragomirna, Secu and Neamț monasteries in Romania. He translated the Philokalia into Russian.

Through his hesychastic life and the generations of disciples he created, as well as through the translation of the works of the Holy Fathers, he was a defender of Orthodoxy, Patriarch Daniel underlined.

Ukraine’s gift for Romanians

“There were times when Orthodoxy had to be defended and we see that the defence of Orthodoxy was done first by the saints who prayed, the ascetic saints and the holy scholars, who urged the people to keep the faith, but also to rediscover the richness of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church,” said the Patriarch.

His disciples included Metropolitan Veniamin Costachi of Moldova and Metropolitan Gregory the Teacher of Wallachia. His Beatitude also mentioned Saint Callinicus of Cernica and St. George, the abbot of Cernica and Căldărușani Monasteries among St Paisios’ spiritual sons.

Thus, Patriarch Daniel noted, “St. Paisios was a gift of Ukraine for Romanians, just as St. Peter Mogila was a gift of Romanians for Ukraine… Both Saint Paisios and, later, Saint Peter Mogila, defended Orthodoxy. ”

Useful to the whole Orthodoxy

Some of the approximately 1,000 disciples of St Paisios of Neamț went, after the saint’s repose in the Lord, to Russia, where they founded hesychastic monasteries.

“The most famous of all was Optina Monastery and these fathers, Hesychasts, Paisiosites of Neamt Monastery, developed in the nineteenth century a very rich Orthodox spirituality, which then inspired some Christian writers, such as Dostoevsky,” Patriarch Daniel noted.

“So Saint Paisios of Neamț founded a monastic school, a school of spirituality useful to the whole Orthodox Christianity, to the whole Orthodoxy”, he highlighted.

“Saint Paisios was a truly a wise and praying man and shows us how much the lives of the Holy Fathers and the works of the Holy Fathers are sources of spiritual renewal and power in times of trial, dryness of soul, secularization,” the Patriarch said Oct. 15.

The story of the relics of St. Paisios of Neamț

Attending the blessing service, Archimandrite Benedict Sauciuc, Abbot of Neamț Monastery, presented a short history of the holy relics.

The saint’s tomb was known, but his relics were only recently found.

On May 24, 1986, an unknown saint was discovered who was buried under a path at Neamț Monastery. Many said that this was in fact Saint Paisios Velichkovsky.

To end the controversy, on September 23, 2013, a commission organized by the Metropolis of Moldavia began research at the tomb of St. Paisios in the Church of the Ascension at Neamț Monastery.

The relics of St. Paisios of Neamț were found in his tomb. After a research that established that they belong to the saint, on May 20, 2015, a large reliquary was made for them.

The reliquary blessed on Thursday at the Patriarchal Residence in Bucharest is a smaller one, for processions, and contains only a fragment of the relics of Saint Paisios of Neamț.

Patriarch Daniel (right) and Archimandrite Benedict Sauciuc (left) at St George Chapel of the patriarchal residence. Credit: Lumina Newspaper / Luigi Ivanciu

Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Luigi Ivanciu

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