Death of Patriarch Teoctist of Romania
“Can’t you see he looks like a saint? He is a living saint, a living icon”
Indeed it was. His appearance transmitted a bright aura, the image of a man who was fully reconciled with himself and with God.
He was mostly remarked by his white beard, gentle and forgiving look, and soft voice, in the sound of which the passages of the Holy Scripture made way into the depths of the people’s hearts like a soothing balm.
Humble. Tolerant. Loving of people. Simple. Faithful.
He came from a large family, in which he was the tenth child. He entered God’s service when he was only thirteen years old. He was a monk throughout his life and through his acts, attitude and humility. He loved children most of all, for whom he reintroduced the study of religion in schools in the 1990s, in the aftermath of the fall of the Communist regime, built orphanages and schools.
He will also be remembered as the first Patriarch to welcome a Catholic Pope in a Orthodox country. Pope John Paul II came to Romania in May 1999.
He fought for unity. Mostly loved for the entire holy essence he spread all around, inevitably slandered by some few, as any luminous presence would be…but what is most important, he will be remembered for his grand works and not by the small miseries of a soul who took upon his shoulders the incredible weight of the church. When he was talking to children, he used to explain the meaning of his garments. Once, he said: “these are not just ornaments…they were meant for me to carry through them the burden… ”
People say he left behind him a “path of light”.
In his memory, his funeral service was a special one: a four-hour long Resurrection service at which “Christ is risen” was sung.
May he rest in peace!
His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist †
Preafericitul Părinte Patriarh Teoctist †
2 February 1915 – 30 July 2007
“We are sons of Resurrection!” (HBP Teoctist)