Credinta Aprilie - Iunie 2014
HE Gherasim Cristea Reposes In The Lord
The Romanian Patriarchate sorrowfully announces the passing from this life of His Eminence Gherasim (Cristea), Archbishop of Râmnic, of thrice-blessed memory, on the morning of April 9, 2014.
The funeral took place on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Râmnicu Vâlcea.
His Eminence Gherasim, Archbishop of Râmnic, was born on November 14, 1914, in Muntenii Buzăului, Ialomiţa County.
In 1934, he became a brother at the Cernica Monastery near Bucharest, and later attended courses at the monastic seminary there and at the Metropolitan Nifon Seminary in Bucharest, graduating in 1942. In 1948 he received his degree in Theology at the university level Theological Institute in Bucharest.
In 1937 he was tonsured a monk, and later ordained a priest. After serving as a priest at the Antim Monastery in Bucharest for nine years, in 1952 he became archimandrite of the Căldăruşani Monastery, the well-known monastery founded by Matei Vodă Basarab during the 17th century.
In 1970, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church elected him as Vicar Bishop of the Dunărea de Jos Diocese, with the title Constănţeanul. This was during the atheistic communist period. He discovered the relics of four martyrs at Niculiţel: Zoticos, Attalos, Kamasis şi Filippos (4th century), which were placed for veneration at the Cocoş Monastery in Tulcea County, where they still are today.
In 1975, the Holy Synod chose him as Vicar Bishop of the Archdiocese of Râmnic and Argeş, with the title Piteşteanul, and on September 30, 1984, he was elected by the Electoral College of the Romanian Orthodox Church as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Râmnic and Argeş.
During its session of June 18-19, 2009, the Holy Synod decided to elevate the Diocese of Râmnic to the rank of Archdiocese, and His Eminence Gherasim became Archbishop of Râmnic.
From an administrative point of view, Archbishop Gherasim consolidated and restored several churches in the diocese, such as the monasteries of Cozia, Turnu, Stănişoara, Hurezi, Bistriţa, Dintr-un Lemn, Brâncoveni, Surupatele, and hermitages such as Ostrov, Cornet, Iezer, etc.
In recent years, the Holy Hierarch Antim Ivireanul Cultural and Religious Center was built under his guidance, as well as a social canteen at the administrative center of the Archdiocese of Râmnic.
He participated as a delegate of the Romanian Orthodox Church at symposia and theological meetings abroad, and is the author of numerous articles, studies, and books, of which we mention: “Războiul de independenţă în documentele Episcopiei Râmnicului şi Argeşului” (The War of Independence in the Documents of the Diocese of Râmnic şi Argeş), 1977, “Istoria Mânăstirii Govora” (The History of the Govora Monastery), 1995, “Istoria Mânăstirii Căldăruşani” (The History of the Căldăruşani Monastery), 1997, “Viaţa Sfântului Martir Constantin-Vodă Brâncoveanu şi a celor împreună pătimitori cu Dânsul” (The Life of the Holy Martyr Constantin-Vodă Brâncoveanu and those who suffered with Him), 2001, and “Istoria Mânăstirii Hurezi” (The History of Hurezi Monastery), 2003, etc.
May God grant him eternal rest and may his memory be eternal!