Friday, October 28, 2016

October 27…We Celebrate St. Dimitrie Basarabov….Protector of Bucharest

St. Dimitrie Basarabov
Born in the XIII Century in the village of Basarab, south of the Danube’s Romanian territory, of a poor family who could not give him a formal education, was forced to earn himself for his basic needs at a very young age.

For years, he took the cattle and sheep of the farmers from the village grazing on the hills near the Danube river and the green valleys of the Lom. Life in the woods as a young shepherd offered the young boy the opportunity to admire the beauty of nature always visible, helping him to love the Creator of the world and the unseen beauty as well.
Lom RiverOn Sundays and holidays took part along with his parents and other believers to prayers in the village church.
Fasting and praying constantly, as befits a true Christian, he also cared for the poor, shared the food he received from his fellow villagers to guard cattle and in time decided he would join a group of brothers in a monastery to dedicate his life to The Lord.
Basarabov Monastery Bulgaria

He spent the rest of his life in a cave, praying and helping the sick.
It is said that when his time came, he went down to the shore of the Lom river and laid his body between two boulders placing his soul in the arms of God, surrounded by angels before going to heaven.

Many years passed by, the folk tradition is that one night he appeared in the dream of a very ill young girl, telling her where his body was and that if her parents would get him out of the water, she would be healed.
Fresco by Cezar Ivana of St.Dimitrie

They and other Christian believers did, placed him in the village church and the girl was saved.

The news of his venerable relics finding was soon spread in the townships south of the Danube, and in the north.
Many believers  were heading towards Basarab village to worship the precious relics and ask the great saint for blessings.

For five centuries, his relics remained in the area until the war of 1768-1774 between Russians and Ottomans on parts of the Romanian territory.
Icon Detail with a Relic of St.Dimitrie
The Russian General Petru Saltacov, in fear that the muslims would desecrate the relics of St.Dimitrie, ordered for them to be taken to Russia, via Bucharest.
Pilgrimage to the Relics of St. Dimitrie
There he was asked to leave them for the Romanian people on July, 1774 at the Metropolitan Cathedral and so, St. Dimitrie Basarabov became the protector of Bucharest, of Romania and healer of many.

His right hand did make it to Russia, believed to still be in Kiev.

Relics of St.Dimitrie Basarabov
On October 27, Romanian Christians celebrate his life and miracles with feasts and helping the poor.