Archbishop Irineu: Village is ageing, its dwellers are harrowed by poverty and loneliness

The Romanian village is ageing and its dwellers are harrowed by poverty and loneliness, says the Orthodox Archbishop of Alba Iulia, Irineu, in his Easter Pastoral Letter to the clergy, the monastic communities and the faithful of the Eparchy. "Each time we celebrate Holy Easter we think of the rural environment and of those who have lived in the Romanian village, in this 'inspirational holy land', as writer Liviu Rebreanu calls it. Here the Romanian experience relied on a strong belief in the resurrection from the dead, on an unwavering enthusiasm for the life beyond, a longing for spiritual redemption, and unmatched tenderness for the souls of the loved ones, 'who have fallen asleep into Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Easter celebrated in the Romanian village testifies to the ancientness of our apostolic Christianity, an ancientness that is entwined with that of our nation. This is why we must head for this village with the hilltop church and the nearby cemetery so that we can find our identity, our Romanian roots, our authentic life touched by the radiant joy of the Resurrection of the Divine Redeemer," said the Alba Iulia Archbishop. He goes on to remark that in 2019, proclaimed by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church 'The Homage Year to the Romanian Village', "we find sorrow that our village is ageing and its dwellers are harrowed by poverty and loneliness." "We are being called upon to labor in order to preserve and perpetuate the life of the village, from where in hard times the light of 'faith working through love' (Gal., 5, 6), self-offering, goodwill and humanity has irradiated. All these perennial values are clothed in the aura of eternity, because - as Lucian Blaga states - 'eternity was born in the village'," Irineu points out. The high hierarch emphasizes that the Resurrection of Christ is the "unmatched" event in the history of mankind. "Understanding the importance of the Easter feast, we feel responsible for making our life a 'spiritual service of worship' (Rom.12: 1), a hymn dedicated to the moral virtues and Christian ministry. Acquiring future life entirely depends on the quality of our present life. (...) Being a gift from God, this earthly life must be valued by forever binding it to eternity, with the certainty that only a life free of sin and renewed by grace can truly know the light and power of the Resurrection of Christ," Archbishop Irineu writes in his Easter Pastoral Letter. AGERPRES (RO - author: Marinela Brumar, editor: Diana Dumitru; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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