Cardinals, bishops, priests and thousands of churchgoers at the Beatification Mass of Vladimir Ghika
Three cardinals, twenty bishops, over two hundred priests and thousands of national and international churchgoers are expected to attend the solemn Beatification Mass of Monsignor Vladimir Ghika, held at Romexpo on August 31. “Churchgoers from Dobrogea, Muntenia and Oltenia, Moldova and Ardeal, as well as from other countries – France in particular – have already announced they would attend the Mass”, Italian Church parish priest Daniel Bulai stated, as cited by Mediafax. The Beatification Mass will be presided over by Angelo Amato, prefect of The Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See, according to Bulai. On March 27, Pope Francis signed the decree by which Vladimir Ghika will be included among the Catholic Church saints.
The Beatification Mass will be prepared beforehand on the evening of August 30 by reading prayers at Sf. Vasile cel Mare Church on Polona Street, the first Greek Catholic church to be united with Rome. A prayer for the dead will also be read in the memory of Vladimir Ghika, showing the strong bond between the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches, and a new solemn mass will be held on Sunday after the Beatification.
Second to Pope John Paul’s visit to Romania, the Beatification of Monsignor Vladimir Ghika is the most important religious event to occur in Romania as it is an acknowledgement of his martyrdom, Francisc Dobos, spokesperson for ARCB (the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Bucharest) stated Wednesday.
On 18 November 1952, during the Communist regime’s full-blown persecution against the Catholic Church, Monsignor Vladimir Ghika was arrested on a street in Bucharest as he was walking out of an ill woman’s home after administering the Holy Sacraments. One year of investigation and torture later, he was sentenced to three years I jail. Two years later, the monsignor then aged 80 died at Jilava Penitentiary on May 16, 1954.