Monday, September 09, 2013

From Romania: Ceremony in Honor of the Blessed Vladmir Ghika, Priest and Martyr

Several days ago we reported on the Beatification of Mons. Vladimir Ghika, a priest martyred by the Communist regime of Romania in 1954. Our reader Viviana Dimcev has sent some pictures of a ceremony held afterwards, at which an icon of him was blessed, and the following description of the event.
August 31st was a great day for Catholics in Romania. In the morning, the Holy Mass of Beatification of Mons. Vladimir Ghika was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato; about twenty bishops, two-hundred priests of both the Latin and Byzantine rites, and eight-thousand faithful attended.

In the afternoon, at the Greek Catholic Vicarial Church of St Basil in Bucharest, H. E. Bishop Mihai Fratila, Greek Catholic Vicar of Bucharest, presided over a ceremony in the Byzantine Rite, during which he consecrated the icon of Blessed Vladimir Ghika, painted by the Rome-based Ukrainian Greek Catholic artist Ivan Karas.

The blessing of the icon was followed by the chanting of the Akathist Hymn of the new Blessed. A special guest was Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, in whose diocese Mons. Ghika was active before returning to his native country. All the members of Catholic Bishop Conference in Romania (of both Latin and Byzantine rites) attended. The well-known French writer, Fr. Daniel Ange, was also present. At the end of the ceremony, the faithful venerated the icon and the relics of Blessed Vladimir Ghika.

The event held a special significance for the Greek Catholic community in Bucharest, since the Church of St. Basil was built with the contribution of Blessed Vladimir Ghika, a bi-ritual priest held in great esteem by the Greek Catholic Church. He also gathered there a community of students in the years before World War II, lecturing to them and involving them in charitable works. In 1948 the church was confiscated by the Communist authorities and handed over to the Orthodox Church. It was only in 2006 that the Greek Catholic community regained the church. So it may be said that the Blessed Vladimir Ghika was coming home again.
The Greek-Catholic Vicariate of Bucharest has also posted a flickr album with almost 200 photographs from the event at St. Basil's. Our thanks to Viviana Dimcev for providing the links and information.

The new icon of Blesed Vladimir Ghika, Priest and Martyr.

St. Basil's Greek Catholic Church in Bucharest

A reliquary of Blessed Vladimir.

This and the pictures that follow are of the ceremony at which the icon of Vladmir Ghika was blessed by Bishop Fratila, as described by Mrs. Dimcev above.


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