These days, His Grace Bishop Macarie Drăgoi of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe has been serving in several parish communities in Sweden. On this occasion, the hierarch confessed and guided the priests and believers in the spiritual preparation for the Great Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord.
On Saturday, on March 31, 2018, the Romanian bishop celebrated the Divine Liturgy and the commemoration of the departed in the Romanian community in the Swedish city of Linköping, protected by the Holy and the Righteous Lazarus. In the evening, His Grace Macarie, surrounded by a group of priests and deacons, served the Mystery of the Holy Unction in the church of the Romanian parish in Jönköping. All those present at these services could worship the relic icon of the holy and righteous Lazarus, the one resurrected from the dead on the fourth day. The relic icon was brought from the Diocesan Center in Stockholm.
On Palm Sunday, April 1, 2018, Father Macarie was in the midst of the faithful of the Holy Trinity and Saint John the Baptist parish in Stockholm. Those attending the service carried green branches and many of them were confessed and received the Holy Communion.
In his word of teaching, His Grace Macarie showed that, having climbed along with the believers from the small community from Linköping to Stockholm, he felt that he was going up with the Savior from Bethany of Lazarus to the city of Jerusalem. “Now we are in the Palm Sunday in the city of Stockholm. Like the disciples and the people, we also greet the Savior Jesus Christ, shouting from the depths of our hearts: Osana, the Son of God, blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! The Savior Jesus Christ, coming to Jerusalem, was very sad, even though all rejoiced and received Him with ovations. Why was He sad? Knowing that the people who acclaimed him, in a few days, would condemn Him to death, asking, at the instigation of the rulers of the people then, to be crucified. Those who proclaimed in Jerusalem doxologizing: Osana, the Son of God! in a few days they would cry: Crucify Him! Crucify him! More dramatic than the sliding of the crowds was the blunders of the disciples, Judas will sell Him, and Peter will betray Him. Absolutely all the disciples except the young Apostle John will leave Him, running away from Him who was arrested wickedly, judged in a crooked and counterfeit manner. In all of His loneliness, the Lord Jesus Christ had some good friends, besides His Mother and His disciple John and the myrrhbearers women, headed by Mary Magdalene, He found three good friends on the Way of the Cross. First of all, Simon of Cirene, the bearer of the Cross together with Jesus Christ, Veronica, who, with a marama, chilled His face by wiping blood and sweat, and eventually Dismas, the good thief, the thief that repented, who was crucified on the right side of the Savior Jesus Christ, and who brought Him comfort, confessing His righteousness and innocence before all,” said the Romanian Orthodox hierarch of Northern Europe.
At the end of the Liturgy, His Grace Macarie congratulated all those who celebrate their name day (the Palm Day in Romania is a celebration of all names that relate to flowers) and then, on behalf of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, offered the priests Ioan Ruja and Florin Balan, the Patriarchal Cross distinction. During the evening the Romanian hierarch visited the Romanian parish “The Dormition of the Mother of God” in Stockholm. On this occasion, the same high distinction, the “Patriarchal Cross”, was given to Father Gheorghe Borca.