by Aurelian Iftimiu
On the forefeast of Saint John Chrysostom, November 12, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel inaugurated the Consilium House of the National Cathedral’s Chapel.
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — Following the blessing service, His Beatitude referred to the way the new building will be used by the priests and believers.
He said that given its capacity, agape meals will be held inside. Also, that it may serve as a place of gathering for the Chapel’s volunteers, as well as for those who work on the National Cathedral’s construction site.
In his speech, the Patriarch said that ‘the Consilium House is a place of joy, of fraternal communion, since the world needs communion so much.’
‘Our tradition of uniting prayer with charity, with the agape meal, is actually an apostolic tradition of the first centuries,’ Patriarch Daniel added.
‘In Moldavia, where monasteries had a great influence on parishes,’ the Patriarch of Romania explained, ‘parochial refectories also called festal houses have been built like monastic refectories.’
In conclusion, the Patriarch urged everyone ‘to show a faith working through love,’ as the Apostles and the Holy Fathers of the Church urge us.
He cited St John Chrysostom’s recommendation, ‘If you want your prayer to ascend to heaven give it two wings, fasting and almsgiving.’
‘He who fasts but does not give alms, gathers supplies,’ the Patriarch cautioned referring to the beginning of the Nativity Fast.
Icon of Holy Trinity – symbol of hospitality
Patriarch Daniel offered for the Consilium House a replica of St Andrew Rublev’s icon of the Holy Trinity entitled ‘Abraham’s Hospitality.’
‘This icon is a sign of liturgical communion, but also a sign of the brotherly communion at the agape meals,’ the Patriarch said.
His Beatitude congratulated all those who contributed to the building of the Consilium House.
All-night Vigil in honour of St John Chrysostom
Following the blessing service, the All-night Vigil in honour of St John Chrysostom was officiated at the National Cathedral’s Chapel, where a particle of the Saint’s holy relics is enshrined.
Photography courtesy of Raluca Ene / Basilica.ro