In Oslo, Bishop Macarie offered the Northern Cross to two former political detainees during the atheistic communist regime in Romania

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Romanians in the capital of Norway, Oslo, participated on Friday evening, May 10, 2019, at the Holy Sacrament of the Holy Unction, performed by His Grace Father Macarie, the Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Northern Europe, in the parish church, on the occasion of the Sunday of Myrrh-bearing Women. At the service two former political detainees during the atheistic communist regime in Romania were present, Galina Răduleanu and Niculina Moica. At the end of the ministry, the two guests received from His Grace Father Macarie, the highest distinction of the Diocese, the Northern Cross. On the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, on May 12, 2019, after the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by priest Alexandru Ardelean in the parish church in Oslo, paying homage to the Christian woman everywhere, the distinguished faithful gave a vivid statement before the parishioners present at the service, speaking to them about the horrors of the atheist communist regime and the courage and danger of confession of faith.

The teaching word of His Grace Bishop Macarie:

“We thank the Precious God for offering us the opportunity to have in our midst two ladies of the anticommunist Romanian confession of faith and of dignity: Mrs Galina Răduleanu, a physician, the daughter of priest Boris Răduleanu, arrested at the age of 24, together with her father and her brother, condemned to seven years of imprisonment spent at Uranus, Jilava, Arad and Oradea and Mrs. Niculina Moica, arrested at only 15 years old, who spent five years in the prisons of Târgu Mureş, Jilava, Botoşani, Arad and Oradea, having also her father arrested. So, here are two young women who, in the dark communist regime, have had the courage to write and tell what they are thinking, to fight the horrors of the investigations, trials, prisons, keeping their moral attitude after they have been released.

As another great confessor of the communist prisons, Aspazia Oţel-Petrescu, these women were crucified with a raised arm towards heaven, for the love of God, and another raised for the Romanian nation, for the love of the country. Words are powerless to portray the sufferings, the dramas, but also the spiritual ups and downs and the moral quenching through which our witnesses have passed, and we cherish it as a great gift, the fact that we have the chance to have them among us, to listen to their testimonies.

On these days, we are celebrating, in a manifestation that began on Friday, through the Sacrament of the Holy Unction continuing through dedicated events and culminating in the Divine Liturgy on the Day of Myrrh-bearing Women, through Mrs. Galina and Niculina, all the Christian women of our nation who took the cross of confession, becoming thus the Myrrh-bearing Women, and the proclaimers of the Resurrection. We have a cloud of testimonies throughout history about courage, dignity, the sacrifice of so many women, and I mean not only during in the communist period. Let us think of Mrs. Maria, the wife of Saint Voivode Constantin Brâncoveanu, Despina Militza, the wife of Saint Voivode Neagoe Basarab, the devoutly women who lived in reclusion and in monasteries and, behold, the martyrdom and confession during the anti-Christian and atheistic bolshevism. We think and evoke today the women who kept the country in their beaten palms and in their tears when their husbands were on the front or imprisoned, the women who had a different kind of confession, discreet, but not less important.

I urge the faithful like us, in the Church, to honor more consistently and not only on this wonderful day of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, the Christian women of the nation, but to remember, pray and speak constantly about the sacrifice of these women. Not just because it is right, but because we need such testimonies, such landmarks, because we are compelled to honor, to understand, to cherish and follow them according to our own possibilities. Because the testimony of these ladies of Romanian Christian dignity was essential to our survival as a nation and Church and the way we relate to it will affect our survival further on. Behold what a cross can a young woman carry! Here’s what a cross can a teenager of only 15 years old sustain! So, by thanking and honoring all the confessors and martyrs over time, beginning with the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women, we pray to the Good God to make us worthy of such an inheritance.”

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