There will be a series of posts about this beautiful city called Iasi. Located in northeastern Romania, it is a city that most of you will never visit. I, who live in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, had this chance to live in Iasi since the beginning of the year, I had the chance to visit it, step by step and see many of it's beauties. The beauty I want to share with you, those who will never travel to these places!
As I said, Iasi can be considered a holy city, over a hundred of the churches are here. Here, at the Orthodox cathedral there is the body of a holy one most beloved by the Orthodox, Saint Paraschiva. In every autumn there is a petition involving hundreds of thousands of believers. Now I do not want to talk about it, it will happen later. now I want to talk about Pope Francis' visit to this city, the first. This proves that Iasi is not a certain city, the honor of visiting the head of the Catholic church is incredible and conveys something about the importance of this city.
I want to show you how the city looks like waiting for the Holy Father, while and after! I hope to succeed.
I have to start with what I did, my wife and me. Like every morning in the weekend I drank coffee in town. This time, not in our favorite café but close to the path the Pope will do.
Café that is just a dream of the Orthodox church we like most, the church and the Three Hierarchs Monastery!
Less than fifty meters away is the Catholic Cathedral where the Pope will come. It's a modern cathedral, I was amazed to see what it looks like. In contrast, Orthodox churches want to keep their image hundreds of years old and resist the modern aspect. Less than fifty meters away is the Catholic Cathedral where the Pope will come. It's a modern cathedral, I was amazed to see what it looks like. In contrast, Orthodox churches want to keep their image hundreds of years old and resist the modern aspect.
Catholic Cathedral in Iasi!
The cathedral "Holy Virgin Mary, Queen" in Iasi is a Roman Catholic church built between 1992-2005 in Iasi, with the role of serving as an episcopal cathedral. It is situated on Ştefan cel Mare Boulevard no. 26.
On the occasion of Pope Francis' visit there will be a statue of Jesus reminding of this moment. Here is the statue before the show to the inhabitants of the city.
The Pope, who is one of the most important people of this planet, needs special protection measures. Normal! So the main streets of the city were specially prepared for this event.
Preparations for a colossal visit ...
Streets that were usually crowded now are deserted. Protective fences delimit the space where the city's inhabitants that will want to see the pope will be able to stand.
The boulevards, too ... usually full of cars, are now empty. Everyone is waiting for the Pope.
After a while people began to gather for a unique event in their lives. I can say that it will be unique in the Pope's life that will certainly not visit this place again.
Before arriving in Iasi, the Pope visited a mountainous place and procession of Catholic Pentecostals, the largest in Eastern Europe, at Şumleu Ciuc!
Thousands and thousands of pilgrims, from the country or abroad, head for foot to Sumuleu-Ciuc, the place where the great procession of Catholic Pentecostals, considered the largest in Central and Eastern Europe, will take place on Saturday.
Groups of people go slowly so that the elderly, but also the children can keep up, and carry religious flags in their hands. The luggage is carried by several carts drawn by horses, and from time to time they all stop resting and restoring their forces. Throughout the journey, they interpret religious hymns and say prayers that ask the Virgin Mary to bless them, to protect them from evil and to support them in what they do.
A young man from New Zealand was invited by his friends to take part in the procession and was excited about this experience.
"It's incredible, it's amazing. Being part of a 450-year tradition is really amazing. People are nice, friendly, I like it, "he said.
Pilgrims moving on foot are housed by locals, glad to help those who travel tens or even hundreds of miles.
The opening ceremony of the pilgrimage will take place on Friday evening at 19.00, followed by a night of waking and praying. The Holy Liturgy of Catholic Pentecostals will begin at 12.30 on Saturday at the Shumuleu Mic Shrine, on the outskirts of Miercurea Ciuc.
The pilgrimage on Sumuleu has a centuries-old tradition and is considered the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1567, the prince of Transylvania, John Sigismund, tried to impose the unitarian religion on the Catholics in the Szekler churches of Ciuc, Gheorgheni and Casin.
Under the leadership of Istvan priest in Joseni, the Catholic faithful defeated the prince's army and returned to Sumuleu Ciuc to thank Virgin Mary. They worshiped the miraculous statues of the Virgin Mary, which is in the Franciscan monastery and which was made in 1515 in linden wood. Since then Catholic believers have participated each year at the Pentecost pilgrimage from Sumuleu Ciuc.
The local and county authorities, as well as the Order of the Transylvanian Franciscans, have started, for a long time, the steps to include this pilgrimage on the list of UNESCO's universal immaterial patrimony (EM) Source
Waiting for the arrival of the Pope, the inhabitants of Iasi saw the procession in Sumuleu Ciuc on large screens located on the streets of the city. I probably forgot to say, the Pope came to Iasi directly from the procession in Sumuleu Ciuc.
Finally the Pope arrived in Iasi, over a hundred thousand people waited for hours to see him. Like most of the inhabitants, I've seen the smartest part of the processions on the big screens on the streets.
Finally, it turned out that the place that we chose to wait for the Pope was well-chosen. The pope passed very close to me!
This is how I happened to be close to two visits of a Pope in Romania ... Pope John Paul II, twenty years ago in Bucharest and now, Pope Franscisc, in Iasi. I'm not of Catholic religion but I have a great respect for this two Catholic rulers of the world, there have been and are people with great influence in the evolution of civilization in our world.
This was a brief presentation of the Catholic dimension of the city of Iasi in Romania. I believe that if a Pope considered it necessary to visit this city, then anyone who visits Romania should also visit Iasi.
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