The Romanian people kept their national identity against the many migrant people, pagans, through faith, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Daniel, said in his service delivered during the Holy Liturgy held at the People's Cathedral on St. Andrew's Day."We have two very significant days: November 30 is the day of our unity of faith, our spiritual unity as the Romanian people, and December 1 is the National Day of Romania, the day of the state, of the national unity of the Romanian people. And by this we see the connection between the unity of faith and the unity of the nation. Because through faith we were able to keep our national identity against the many migrating, pagan peoples, who took out country's territory by assault. But our people, Christianized slowly, but deeply, remained here, through turbulent times. That is why this celebration is full of significance," said Patriarch Daniel.
The head of the Romanian Church emphasized that "St. Andrew the Apostle, the First-Called to mission or apostleship, has a special connection with the land of our country and the Romanian people, which is why he is also called the Apostle of the Romanians and the patron saint of Romania."
"After the changes of 1989, after the fall of the communist regime, we started to celebrate St. Andrew the Apostle increasingly more and many Romanians became aware that the Holy Apostle Andrew is the apostle of the Romanian nation, the apostle of our Daco-Roman ancestors. Because he preached the Gospel on the territory of our country, in Dobrogea, called Scythia Minor. (...) St. Andrew has long been celebrated especially in parts of Dobrogea, where there is the Cave of St. Andrew, where later there was built a church," the Patriarch said.
He reminded that St. Andrew is also the patron saint of the People's Salvation Cathedral, whose altar was sanctified, on November 25, 2018, by His Holiness Bartholomew the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Constantinople. He also brought to mind that a year ago, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus II, hed the first feast day of the Cathedral.
St. Andrew's Day, the First-Called, the patron saint of Romania, is celebrated by the Romanian Orthodox Church on November 30.
St. Andrew, a fisherman, brother of St. Peter the Apostle, was first called to proclaim the gospel of Christ, but before being an apostle of the Lord, St. Andrew was a disciple of St. John the Baptist. But when he heard his teacher, when he looked at Jesus, he said, "Behold: The Lamb of God!" (John 1:36), St. Andrew left everything and followed Christ to death and resurrection, witnessing His miracles and Resurrection.
St. Andrew first proclaimed Christ to his brother Simon (Peter): "He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah"" (John 1: 41, 41).
After the Ascension of the Lord and after the Pentecost, the Apostle Andrew preached Christ in Bithynia, Byzantium, Thrace, Macedonia, the lands around the Black Sea, up to the Danube, Scythia [Dobrogea - editor's note] and up to Crimea.
St. Andrew ended his martyrdom, being crucified, in Patras, near Corinth [Greece - editor's note], with his head down, on an X-shaped cross, which he has since been called the "Cross of Saint Andrew".
The Day of Saint Andrew the Apostle is marked with a red cross in the BOR calendar following a decision of the Holy Synod of 1995. Two years later, in 1997, Saint Andrew the Apostle was proclaimed the patron saint of Romania. The day of November 30 became a national church holiday, following the decision of the Holy Synod of November 14, 2001, subsequently consecrated, by Law no. 147/2012, as a legal holiday when people do not go to work.