On Monday, July 26, 2021, the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the BVM in Romania celebrated the 125th anniversary of its foundation, which began on July 26, 1895, with a decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. The celebration was held at the Naşterea Sfintei Fecioare Maria Church in Hălăucești, Romania.
The solemn event began with Mass at 11:00 a.m., presided over by the Most Reverend Miguel Maury BUENDÍA, Apostolic Nuncio to Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Others present included the Most Reverend Aurel PERC, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bucharest; the Most Reverend Iosif PĂULEȚ, Bishop of Iași; the Most Reverend Ioan ROBU, Archbishop Emeritus of Bucharest; the Most Reverend Petru GHERGHEL, Bishop Emeritus of Iași; the Minister General, Friar Carlos Alberto TROVARELLI; the Minister Provincial Friar Damian-Gheorghe PĂTRAȘCU; and many confreres, priests, religious and lay faithful.
In his homily, Friar Virgil BLAJ, Rector of the Franciscan Theological Institute in Roman, Romania, pointed to St. Joseph, the patron saint of the Province, as a just and virtuous man, as demonstrated by the care he gave to God’s treasures, Jesus and Mary. Friar Virgil then talked about the early days of the foundation of the Province and mentioned some noteworthy friars who united their lives and destinies with that of the Romanian people, building schools, churches, orphanages, and friaries. The friars also educated the people through religious publications and “human education.”
At the end of the Mass, Friar Damian-Gheorghe stood before the statue of St. Joseph and recited the prayer of consecration, dedicating the Province to its patron and protector, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Next, speeches were made by Dan-Laurențiu LEUREANU, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania; Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI; Bishop Iosif PĂULEȚ; and Archbishop Miguel Maury BUENDÍA.
The 125th anniversary celebration of the canonical foundation of the Province concluded with a traditional song and the solemn blessing of Archbishop BUENDÍA.
Friar Carol-Daniel SABĂU