On the occasion of the Sunday of Parents and Children, observed in the Romanian Patriarchate on the first Sunday following June 1, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has sent a message to Christian families.
The Patriarch of Romania used his message to highlight “Christian family in the paternal love of God”, also urging parents and their children “to know and live the true faith in the family, Church and society through prayer and good deeds, to cultivate freedom and responsibility, love and generosity.”, according to basilica.ro.
His Beatitude exhorted younger generations “to value and care for the elderly, considering them, not a burden, but a source of blessing, wisdom and merciful love.”
Patriarch Daniel stressed the importance of the prayer offered by parents and grandparents for children especially in cultivating the grace received at baptism and in shaping their character.
Please find below the full text of Patriarch Daniel’s message for the Sunday of Parents and Children.
The Christian family in the paternal love of God: full text
The first Sunday after International Children’s Day (June 1) was designated as Parents’ and Children’s Sunday by the Holy Synod of our Church by resolution no. 629/March 12, 2009, and this year it coincides with the feast of Pentecost or the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is the celebration of the foundation of the Church as a gathering of people in the love of the Holy Trinity.
The Holy Spirit unites different persons and nations by grace who confess the same righteous and holy faith.
The growth or expansion of the Church of Christ is achieved with each newly baptised person, beginning on the day of Pentecost when they were baptised in Jerusalem “about three thousand souls” (Acts 2: 41) and until the end of the ages.
Saint Basil the Great indicates that Baptism in the name of the Most Holy Trinity is the beginning of eternal life, the incorporation into the mystical Body of Christ, and the adoption of man by God: “And in this way, being baptised in the name of the Holy Spirit, we are born from above. And after being born and baptised in the name of the Son, we are clothed in Christ, putting on the new man, built in the image of God. And so, we were baptised in the Father’s name and proclaimed sons of God.”
As persons baptised in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, parents and children are called to know and live the true faith in the family, Church and society through prayer and good deeds, to cultivate freedom and responsibility, love and generosity, according to the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31-32).
The perennial values of faith strengthen communion between generations.
Therefore, parents and children are called to value and care for the elderly, considering them, not a burden, but a source of blessing, wisdom and merciful love, following the model of Saint Anna the Prophetess; “she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. […] she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2: 37-38).
In the year 2023, proclaimed in the Romanian Patriarchate as the Solemn Year of the pastoral care of the elderly, we gratefully remember grandparents who guide children’s steps towards the Church, helping them to feel God’s love for them, to cultivate love for those around them, to distinguish between temporary fashions and eternal values.
In a technological and secularised society, the prayer of right-believing parents and grandparents is essential in cultivating the grace of Holy Baptism, shaping the character of children, and preparing them as citizens both of the earthly and heavenly homelands.
We pray to the Most Holy Trinity, the Source of life and eternal love, to illuminate and fill the souls of children, parents and grandparents with peace and joy and to be a blessing for the Church and the Romanian people.
With much appreciation and paternal blessing,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church