Romanian Orthodox Church considers popular monk, persecuted by communists for sainthood

BUCHAREST, Romania – The Romanian Orthodox Church says it is considering a Romanian monk persecuted by the communists and known as the “saint of Transylvania” for sainthood.

The Metropolitan of Transylvania church authority said Thursday it had begun the lengthy process of canonization for Arsenie Boca, a Romanian Orthodox monk and priest whose grave in western Romania attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims every year.

The Romanian Orthodox church is autonomous and makes its own canonizations.

Father Arsenie Boca is hugely controversial in the more hard-line, anti-catholic circles of the Romanian Orthodox Church, owing to the fact that he (a painter of icons and churches, among other things) did paint Francis of Assisi with a saintly hallo (thus implicitly recognizing his sainthood) among other orthodox saints at the Draganesti church.

On the other hand, the popular devotion to Father Arsenie is so great in Romania, that in the last year presidential election, one candidate had small “icons” with the Father’s image on one side and his (the candidate’s) image on the other distributed to voters. Talk about politics and religion. Thankfully, the candidate lost.

I watched a movie about the saint - Stephen the Great ( Stefan Cel Mare)
I agree that he is phenomenal warrior, he won almost all the battles, sometimes he defeated armies superior than his army a few times. His victorious experience is unique. But I was surprised by his aura of holiness, especially in Moldova.
On the coins and banknotes, in monuments and paintings.
Beautiful cloisters from those times certainly speak volumes, but for example from a Puritan standpoint, if a man had many wives and concubines, he can not be called a saint.
Where is the measure of the proclamation of the ruler’s sanctity in the Romanian/Moldovan Orthodoxy?
In those days strength meant so much, he freed the Christian lands, built monasteries, but when you remember the cruelty of those times and how much ‘‘pleasures’’ allowed themselves the kings, you start to doubt about their holiness.

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