For the monastery dedicated to Saint Dimitrie the New, the commemoration of its patron saint was again a wellspring of joy and grace on the occasion of its fall feast day, which was hosted on Saturday, October 29. The entire day was replete with gifts for the soul. The joy of the feast began the evening before with the celebration of Great Vespers with Litya. This was followed in the morning by Matins and the blessing of the new multifunctional pavilion, where the morning services were held. The Divine Liturgy was served by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae, together with a large group of priests and two deacons.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae also brought with him a priceless gift: the relics of the Holy Voivode Martyr Constantin Brâncoveanu, which the many faithful pilgrims had the blessing to venerate. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence gave the holy relics to Father Mihai Faur for his parish in Fairfield, Connecticut, which is dedicated to the Holy Brâncoveanu Martyrs.
In his homily, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae commented on the life of Saint Dimitrie the New and what we can learn from it: “As you know, we are dealing with a saint who lived simply, his life closely resembling that of Saint Parascheva, who lived 200 years earlier, in the 11th century. Both saints show us how over time, God has worked through their holy relics. The Holy Spirit descended upon them during their lifetime and made His divine work manifest in their holy bodies, in their holy relics, which gush forth healings and blessings. It is a miracle that we should contemplate. How is it possible that two people who were so simple, who lived such short lives – Saint Parascheva lived only 25 years – to show themselves hundreds of years later to be active in the Church and in the world?
“We can find an answer in the words of the Holy Apostle Paul, who in his First Epistle to the Corinthians says that God has chosen those who are lowly and weak to shame those who are rich, and He has chosen those who are weak in the world to shame the strong (cf. 1 Corinthians 1.27-28). Behold, God chose these two humble persons to be an example for us, who live in a very complicated world. Our world is dominated by technology, by speed, by the Internet – these things give us no rest due to this complication of everything; these things take away from us the capacity to attend to our souls, to seek out God. Our modern society is not modeled in this way by chance, so that we might enter and live in a complicated world, but it is modeled to hold us captives to a world of the imagination, void of reality, far from reality, so that we might no longer meditate upon the spiritual reality of our own soul. If we would listen to and fulfill the words of our Lord, “For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?” (Mark 8.36-37), then we would desire to turn things around. (…) We who are in the Church remind ourselves of these words of our Lord only from time to time. We often would rather forget them because we are captivated by the complexity of the world, by this timeless temptation to acquire wealth, to earn titles and ranks, and we forget the examples of simplicity set forth for us by Saints Dimitrie and Parascheva. Their simple lives have remained for us, hundreds of years later, as wellsprings of healings. They listened to our Lord’s words and valued their souls instead of this world. They invite us to imitate them, to listen to the words of our Lord, to attend to our souls. (…) Saint Dimitrie and Saint Parascheva together urge us to value our time, to use it so that we can become spiritually rich and so that we can prepare ourselves to go to the Lord, leaving everything else here and going to Him with a pure soul adorned with virtues.”
The departed loves ones were not forgotten, as they were commemorated during a memorial service.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Father Abbot Jeremiah expressed his gratitude for everyone who supported the construction of the beautiful summer pavilion. Two people were especially mentioned: Mr. Ștefan Cosmin Rizea, who was the general contractor of the project, and Mr. Sergiu Moraru, who completed the entire project with great devotion and skill together with his team of workers. Both men were given the distinction of the American Metropolitan Cross, offered by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae, “As a sign of appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifice and love shown toward St. Dumitru Monastery in Middletown, NY”.
As a blessing from the monastery, Father Abbot granted everyone present at the feast a copy of the bilingual (Romanian-English) akathist of Saint Dimitrie, which was inaugurated on this occasion. The celebration continued with a communal meal, through which the sense of communion among the faithful was strengthened even further.
The day was warm, bright, with gentle fall colors, bearing the sign of beauty recollected in simplicity, and thus resembling Saint Dimitrie the New. The grace of Saint Dimitrie made everyone present return to their homes comforted and full of peace. Glory to God for all things, especially for the gifts of His saints!