Bishop Macarie with the parishioners from Stockholm, to Camelia-Mihaela Smicală: “In our heart you are also, beloved mother and sister, in our heart are your children, too! We are together!”

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To help the hard-fought Smicala family in Finland, His Grace Bishop Macarie Drăgoi of the Diocese of Northern Europe officiated Wednesday evening, February 5, 2020, in the Chapel of the Diocesan Center in Stockholm, the Akathist of the Theotokos “The Joy of the Troubled Ones” surrounded by a gathering of priests and deacons and numerous believers from the Romanian community in the capital of Sweden. At the time of prayer, Camelia-Mihaela Smicală also participated and conducted a dialogue with those present after the service.

In his word, the Romanian Orthodox hierarch of Northern Europe, referred to the dramatic situation that grasped Camelia-Mihaela Smicală, the Romanian doctor from Finland, who for several years has failed to be with her children: “We have gathered together tonight to ache together and to pray together to the Mother of God – the joy of all the troubled ones, the comfort of all who are in distress and in pain, the one who continually lights the grey sky of our hearts and covers us before the rush of temptations. We are beside the unsettled mother Camelia Mihaela and her children Johan-Mihail and Maria-Alexandra in thought and in deed, and now we are glad that we can accommodate this hard-tried mother here at the Diocesan Center in Stockholm and we can welcome her in our Romanian community. The pain is growing, because Mihai, as I notified you, was transferred to an institution with a very strict regime, and Camelia-Mihaela is experiencing great pain, but she is praying with hope and thinking about the day when she will be able to be with her children. We stand in solidarity and pray together with her, and for her, and for her children. It hurts Camelia Mihaela, it hurts her children Mihai and Maria, this drama they go through, but it also hurts us, our beloved mother and sister and dear children! It hurts us as well because we are each a member of the mystical Body of the Church, as Saint Paul tells us, and when one member suffers, all the members suffer together. This is the Church. It hurts when your brother is in pain, to be happy when your brother is in joy, and to be restless when the one next to you is restless. Motherly love and fraternal affection are the deepest and most powerful human attachments. Unfortunately, it is terrible when war is started against them, when motherly love and fraternal affection and the need for family are trampled on. But we must not despair, we trust in the help of the Most Merciful God! That is why we are a living community together, and that means our hearts are beating in unison, at the same pace. In our heart you are, beloved mother and sister, in our heart are your children! We are together! That is why I am very glad that you gathered in large numbers together with the servants of the altar, you, the parishioners, to express your solidarity and love with this hard-tried mother!”, said the hierarch.

Camelia Smicală thanked those present at the prayer for not leaving her alone:

“We are alone in Finland, there is also Andreea, Your Grace, who also suffers. For 19 years I have testified for each of my children and my testimony has been giving birth to my children. It was a struggle to give birth to each of them and I apologize, I am not able to speak, but thank you, for I have no one in Finland. It hurts me the most, because no one in the country even had the courage to go and give Eucharist to the children who used to receive the Holy Sacraments each Sunday, and otherwise I do not know, God forgive me and forgive us all. I know I’ve saved thousands of people as a doctor over 25 years. Each of them was like my child. Thank you for not leaving us! In Finland I was really lonely. And Mihai and Maria are alone, and they are fighting. They have tried to remove them from their faith and they are still trying and there are hundreds of thousands of children throughout Scandinavia, all over Northern Europe who are, just as Herod killed the babies, killed and destroyed in this way. I’m not exaggerating, I said it everywhere. There are hundreds of thousands and they cannot defend themselves, because they do not have God and someone to carry their cross. In Finland there are over 30,000. I do not know, so I feel, that the devil can fight so many mothers and children. And forgive me, I had hope, but I had lost it, but, Lord, help my unbelief! Amen! Amen! Amen! And I love you all!”

His Grace Father Macarie offered as a gift to Camellia Smicala, the icon of the Virgin Mary and the icon of her patron saint, Saint Camellia, that lived in Ecoulives, in France, in the 5th century, as well as the new Prayer Book of the Diocese of Northern Europe, entrusting her that we have no other weapon to cast away our trials, but our prayer.

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