His Grace Bishop Macarie Drăgoi of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe held an intensive liturgical and pastoral activity among the Romanian communities in the Faroe Islands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark on these days of the Nativity.
Thus, in the last days of the Birth of the Lord, Bishop Macarie was in the midst of the Romanian community in the Faroe Islands, on a pastoral visit where he searched, confessed, liturgized, and caroled them. The visit was welcomed with warm enthusiasm by the Romanians who live in these Atlantic islands, and Father Bishop Macarie sent the following message: “It was a mission of the soul, during which we looked after the small but blessed community of Romanians in the Faroe Islands. I thank our hosts for the enthusiasm and warmth with which they opened the doors of their homes and hearts, receiving the wonderful news of the Savior’s Birth. We need as many such bridges as possible between us, islands of Romanian spirit and Orthodoxy from the great sea of foreignness, bounded by deeds of love and brotherhood in Christ”.
Pastoral visits to the Romanians of Molde, Aalesund and other neighboring places in Norway followed, His Grace Macarie bearing the icon of the Nativity, searched at home the Romanians staying here to bring them the news of the incarnation of the Son of God, but also for spiritual counseling and confession. On this occasion, the hierarch of the Romanians in the Nordic countries said: “I have rejoiced with my great sons and friends in these lands, with whom I sat in confession and spiritual counsel, and whom I brotherly embraced in the joy of the Romanian carols, filling us with grace at the Divine Liturgy. On Christmas, many Romanians and from these places returned to the country. And those who are still here at this holiday, far away from our native homes, we feel the need to find ourselves together in the church and in spiritual brotherhood. ”
On Christmas Eve, the Romanian hierarch visited the prisons and asylums in Oslo, as well as the Romanians in the Norwegian capital and surroundings, strolling and bringing the news of the great feast, and on the first day of the feast of the Nativity, 25 December 2018, he was in the Romanian parish in Oslo, in the capital of the Kingdom of Norway, where he served the Divine Liturgy. On Wednesday, December 26, 2018, the hierarch served the liturgy of the patron saint in the Saint Nicodim of Tismana parish in Copenhagen, surrounded by a group of priests and deacons. On this occasion, from the Kingdom of Denmark, His Grace Bishop Macarie said the following: “The Feast of the Nativity comes as the only significant event, the only event worth living, thought, expressed at this time of the year. It is the good news that comes over all the misery, the pain and the sorrow of the world and the times we cross. All sorrow and all the torment of these times are overcome by the humble birth of Jesus Christ in the manger of the beasts. People are pacified, rejoicing, rediscovering the mystery of communion, of fellowship with those who are near and far, even though they often do not realize from where this jubilant joy comes. As long as such things descend from above, God’s mercy still covers us covering the wrath that is about to come for our sins. Let us work this time of repentance toward our salvation and of those who are with us!”
On December 27, 2018, on the feast of St. Stephen the Great, His Grace Macarie was in the midst of the Romanians in the Jutland Peninsula. On this occasion, the hierarch served the Divine Liturgy and baptized two children in the Romanian parish community in the Danish city of Vejle, infants Andreea and Matei, the second child of the archpriest Marcel Coisin and his wife Raluca.