A page in the Religious Life of Bucharest

ISBN: 978-606-28-0317-9

DOI: 10.5682/9786062803179

Publisher year: 2015

Edition: I

Pages: 290

Publisher: Editura Universitara

Author: Constantin Claudiu Cotan

Product Code: 9786062803179 Do you need help? 0745 200 718 / 0745 200 357
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Those who visit Bucharest are impressed by the multitude of churches they meet, especially in the central area, spread among the old houses that escaped the oath of demolition during the communist period. It is clear that for the inhabitants of the old city, the religious faith found a special place in their souls. In fact, a large part of the believer's life at that time was related to the church, the place where he was received in the community, where he was married and where he was promoted on the last road. The church has had and continues to have an important place in the life of the people of Bucharest, who find within the holy walls the peace that the hectic city has not offered for a long time.
  • A page in the Religious Life of Bucharest

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CONSTANTIN CLAUDIU COTAN was born in 1967, in Tismana, Gorj County.
He attended the courses of the Theological Seminary in Craiova (1984-1989).
His theological training continued at the Faculty of Theology in Bucharest (1990-1993), where in 2001 he obtained the title of Doctor of Theology with the thesis: Ortodoxia si miscarile de emancipare nationala din sud-estul Europei in secolul al XIX-lea.  (Orthodoxy and the national emancipation movements in Southeast Europe in the 19th century.)
Between 1991-1996 he attended the courses of the Faculty of History, University of Bucharest, where after defending his thesis: Biserica Ortodoxa Romana in timpul Primului Razboi Mondia (The Romanian Orthodox Church during the First World War), he obtained the title of Doctor of History.
Father Claudiu Cotan is an associate professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Constanta.
Among his most important works we mention: Ortodoxia si miscarile de emancipare nationala din sud-estul Europei in secolul al XIX-lea (Orthodoxy and national emancipation movements in southeastern Europe in the nineteenth century), Bizantina Publishing House, Bucharest, 2004; Istoria Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, 1600-2000. Studiu introductiv (History of the Romanian Orthodox Church, 1600-2000. Introductory study), Vasiliana'98 Publishing House, Iasi, 2009; Biserica si Statul. Biserica Ortodoxa in secolul al XX-lea (Consideratii generale) (The Church and the State. Orthodox Church in the twentieth century (General considerations), Vasiliana'98 Publishing House, Iasi, 2009; O istorie a Bisericilor Ortodoxe Slave (History of the Slavic Orthodox Churches), Vasiliana'98 Publishing House, Iasi, 2009.

Author 's word / 5

1. The church life in Tara Romaneasca in the 18th century / 9

2. The Orthodox Church from Wallachia in the 19th century / 21
2.1. The fire of 1847/37
2.2. Modernization of society and church life in Romania / 40

3. The beginnings of a Bucharest parish - Delea Noua parish / 55
3.1. Bishop Calist Stratonichias, founder of the Delea Noua church / 63
3.2. The will of the bishop Calist Stratonichias / 72

4. Neighbors of Delea Noua parish / 80
4.1. Hagiu Parish / 80
4.2. Delea Veche Parish / 92
4.3. Parish of Calaraş - Vergului Park / 98
4.4. Mihai Bravu Parish / 104

5. Bishop Calist Ialomiteanu - a servant of the Delea Noua church / 108

6. Delea Noua Parish in the years of the Great War / 116

7. Delea Noua Parish in the interwar period / 130
7.1. Delea Noua Parish and its parishioners / 140
7.2. Ethnic and religious minorities from Delea Noua parish / 146
7.3. The administrative activity of the priests of the Delea Noua church / 149
7.4. The life of the faithful, the religious and moral experience in the parish of Delea Noua / 160
7.5. Demographic situation in Delea Noua parish / 168
7.6. Social assistance in Delea Noua Parish / 170
7.6.1. Asylum "Calist the Bishop" / 175

8. Delea Noua Parish in the years of communism / 182
8.1. Priest Teodor Stoica - a life dedicated to the service of a parish / 186
8.2. The 1977 earthquake and the Delea Noua church / 196

9. A gift for the Delea Noua church - The relics of the Holy Martyr Valentin / 207

10. Conclusions / 217

11. Annexes / 221

12. Bibliography / 279

Those who visit Bucharest are impressed by the multitude of churches they meet, especially in the central area, spread among the old houses that escaped the oath of demolition during the communist period. It is clear that for the inhabitants of the old city, the religious faith found a special place in their souls. In fact, a large part of the believer's life at that time was related to the church, the place where he was received in the community, where he was married and where he was promoted on the last road. The church has had and continues to have an important place in the life of the people of Bucharest, who find within the holy walls the peace that the hectic city has not offered for a long time.
Some of the events that our capital went through were also recorded in the documents now yellowed by the passing of the years, of the parish archives. Our history starts from the documents of such a parish, Delea Noua. When I first entered the Delea Noua church in Bucharest, located not far from the city center, I had the impression that I was in the church of a plain village. The floor of the church was covered with carpets of different sizes and colors, as the parishioners had brought them from home. In the small porch you were greeted by the smoke and the smell of candles burning constantly. The icons were adorned with popular cloth, proving that the priests who had served or had served first passed through the village parishes, where this custom is still present today. The church, quite large, has some old icons and a beautiful iconostasis. However, a thick layer of smoke on the walls made the church, although lit by large windows, look dark. Even in February 2002, the painting of the altar and the nave was restored, but with modest results.
Over time, changes began to appear that beautified the interior of the church. In 2005 they were brought to the relics of Saint Valentine, which were placed in the church, in a beautiful canopy carved in oak wood made at the Patriarchate Workshops. In the following years, a series of interior design works were executed, the wooden windows being changed, worn by the passage of time, but which showed the seriousness with which they once worked. New windows were also placed in the towers when the sheet covering them was removed. The exterior was renovated, the church being surrounded by a concrete curb, sidewalk and a beautiful alley that is now paved. A candlestick rose next to it, managing to eliminate the smoke that dominated the believers during the great holidays. Recently, it has been possible to change the thermal and electrical installations, replace the chandeliers, consolidate and reconfigure the cafas and the interior staircase, which gave the church the appearance of a place worthy of the center of the capital. The erection of a new porch at the entrance, spacious and painted in the tone of the church, but also the application of well-made exterior mosaics, beautified the church which today no longer resembles what was once a modest Wallachian church.
Whoever enters today the beautiful courtyard of the Delea Noua church is greeted by a cast iron fountain, commissioned at the end of the 19th century by Iosefina Pake Protopopescu, the wife of the well-known mayor of Bucharest. Certainly the Delea Noua church and the buildings that once surrounded it gave the area a special air, proving a certain soundness of things done seriously and with love. Although it is an ordinary church, without impressing with a special architecture, we used it as a starting point in the short history that wants to present to readers a part of the history of our capital. Let's not forget that the existence of this church was linked to the lives of more than a thousand families who lived in the houses that made it up a few decades ago in the parish. On the streets of the parish you were greeted by a patriarchal peace and the pleasant smell of flowers growing in the gardens of all the houses. Many of those houses have disappeared, and in their place blocks with eight or ten levels have been built, which, however, no longer tell the beautiful stories of the past. Such blocks of flats still stand today, and the beautiful houses that can still be seen will disappear over the years. Most of the parish's current residents are civil servants, teachers, lawyers, doctors and officers. The hard times, but also the needs of life, settled here some Macedonian-Romanian families, who after the surrender of the Quadrilateral settled in Dobrogea, and from there life brought them to the capital. The parish is cosmopolitan, with ethnic and religious minorities, a small Europe in the middle of a city.
The history of Delea Noua parish, related to the history of a large suburb of Bucharest, is quite interesting. I used for the composition of these books especially the parish archives. The reader can easily notice that many documents are quoted, which can sometimes make it difficult to read, but I wanted to keep a cramp from the atmosphere of the past and also, aware that many of these documents will be lost over the years, I wanted the most important documents to remain between the lines of this book. I hope that readers will discover interesting things that will enlighten their souls and bring them closer to people and to God.

The author
Bucharest, September 16, 2015

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