Alongside a few thousands people, PM Ponta was present at the Divine Liturgy in Iasi. Other 25,000 pilgrims waited in a queue to reach the coffin containing the relics of Saint Parascheva.
PM Victor Ponta participated yesterday at the Divine Liturgy officiated at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi on the occasion of Saint Parascheva Day. At the arrival, he was applauded by some people, while from the crowd others shouted “Increase the pensions”, according to Mediafax.
PM Ponta arrived at the Cathedral around 10.45 a.m., before arriving having stopped at the City Hall across the street to pick up the mayor of Iasi and PSD vice-president, Gheorghe Nichita. Politicians Elena Udrea, Varujan Vosganian, the president of the County Council Cristian Adomnitei also participated at the Mass. Liberals Relu Fenechiu, Mircea Diaconu and Norica Nicolai were also in the crowd. The Divine Liturgy was officiated by douzens of ministers headed by the Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina, Archbishop Teofan. Over 10,000 people attended the Mass. At the same time, on the streets behind the Metropolitan Cathedral over 25,000 pilgrims were waiting in a queue in order to reach the coffin containing the relics of Saint Parascheva. According to representatives of Iasi Gendarmerie starting Friday morning, when on the esplanade of the Cathedral was brought the coffin with the relics of St. Parascheva and St. Simeon, over 130,000 believers came to worship them.
Since the beginning of the pilgrimage until yesterday there were reported 730 medical incidents. After the Divine Liturgy at the Metropolitan Cathedral, the pilgrims could take part at the feast where over 65.000 “sarmale” were served. According to the local authorities, it was cooked also a huge “sarma”, formed by 800 regular “sarmale”.
St Parascheva, who is called the new one, of Iasi, of Moldavia, the light bearer and the pride of the entire Orthodoxy, is celebrated on October 14 in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church. She is considered as the protector of Moldavia and its feast, on October 14, turns Iasi into the site of Romania’s biggest pilgrimage.
PM Ponta’s message for the Romanians on St. Parascheva Day
Premier Victor Ponta yesterday, on St Parascheva’s Day, wished all the Romanians they were guided by the best thoughts. “On St Parascheva’s Day, protectress of Moldavia, I wish the Romanians were guided by the best thoughts and wish them all to be in good health and have joy together with their families!” This was the message the Premier posted on his Facebook page. The PM also said, in Iasi, after attending the Mass in the cathedral, that it is an extraordinary thing that Romanians still have faith in the Church and that he is happy that Romania is not a country where, among other disputes, “to be added a religious dispute.”
Ponta said that Saint Parascheva represents a great celebration for the Romanians and that he wants to show, as always, respect for this celebration and for the Romanians’ traditions. He also said that at least twice a year, on January 24 and October 14, Iasi becomes the capital of Romania and congratulated those who “succeed in making this tradition each year even more beautiful.”
Archbishop Teofan: I thank the PM and the other officials here
The Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina, Archbishop Theophan said, in the message he addressed to the more than 10.000 participants at the Liturgy at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi, to go home with “heart full of blessing”, at the same time thanking the Prime Minister and the other politicians who were present there. “People expect St. Paraskeva Day the whole year, and in Iasi these days come tens of thousands of people countrywide. Go home with your heart full of blessing! God bless you! We thank the Prime Minister and the other personalities who came in Iasi,” said the Archbishop Theophan, mentionining the premier, the mayor of Iasi Gheorghe Nichita and the president of the County Council Cristian Adomnitei.
Archbishop Teofan, together with 23 bishops from Romania and from abroad, officiated yesterday at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi, the Holy Liturgy.