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Tribute to the 104th anniversary of Father Justin Pârvu

10 February 2023 No Comment

Prayers for help and gratitude were whispered around the grave of Father Justin Pârvu, at Petru Vodă Monastery in Poiana Teiului commune, Neamț County.

On February 10, 2023, Christians all around Romania celebrated 104 years since the birth of Father Justin Pârvu.

He helped thousands of pilgrims and believers through his dedicated work, soft spoken words and prayers, and many of the people whom he helped in the past can still feel his support, as a form of divine assistance. Father Justin Pârvu is still watching over all the Romanians whom he dearly loved, from the Heavens above.

“That’s how I pushed through my life, holding the Gospel as a guiding light in front of me and keeping the nation close behind” – these words are written on the gravestone of Father Justin.

“The Church provides Christians with a great example: Archimandrite Justin Pârvu – beloved confessor, priest and spiritual guide. From a spiritual point of view, Archimandrite Justin Pârvu planted the roots of faith deep in the soul of the Romanians, the love and faith towards God, and also the love and honour of the nation. All this highlights the distinguished natures of the great archimandrite as the true Spiritual Leader of the Romanian nation”, says Father Hariton Negrea, abbot of Petru Vodă Monastery.


Father Justin was born on February 10, 1919, in Poiana Largului Village (now known as Petru Vodă Village), Călugăreni commune (now known as Poiana Teiului Commune), Neamț County, in the family of very pious Orthodox Romanians, and was given the name “Josef” at baptism.

In 1936, when he was only 17 years old, he entered into service at Durău Monastery. After two years, in 1939, he was admitted at the Theological Seminary at Cernica Monastery, near Bucharest. In 1940, he was ordained into monasticism (according to the specific rite of initiation), and only a year later, he was ordained a priest, at the age of 22.

He participated as a military priest in World War II, then he was imprisoned for political reasons,  between 1948-1964. He spent 12 years in prison, in several detention camps in Suceava, Văcărești, Jilava and Aiud. Before being sent to “re-education” in Pitesti, he was condemned to forced labor in the mine in Baia Sprie. He served most of his sentence in the prison from Aiud, a period that was also the harshest of his 17 years of detention.

At the end of his almost 17 years of imprisonment, Father Justin said that he lived “the most important experience one can have in a lifetime: to know thyself through suffering”. After the revolution of December 1989, Father Justin Pârvu retured to Secu Monastery, where he served as a priest and clergyman for almost a year. After another two years, together with two monks, Ignat and Calinic, Father Justin arrived at Petru Vodă, where he laid the foundations for the construction of a monastery, dedicated to the Romanian martyrs from communist prisons.

He died on June 16, 2013, at the age of 94. (Doxologia.ro)

To honour his memory, “G.T. Kirileanu” County Library in Neamț organized, on the 9th of February  2023, the symposium called “Father Justin Pârvu – the Priest of a Nation”, as part of a larger  project – “Knowing the history of Neamt County through the memory of the community. People, events, places.”

Petru Vodă monastery from Neamț County. Dedication Day: “Saints Archangels Michael and Gabriel” (November 8th).

Although in the 90s Father Archimandrite Justin Pârvu was over 70 years old, he built two monastic settlements, an elderly hospice, a children’s home, and offered a lot of support in building churches and philanthropic institutions in the region.

During his detention in the prison from Baia Sprie, the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel appeared to him to reveal the place of the future construction of monastic settlements in his native village.

Petru Vodă Monastery in Poiana Teiului, having its Dedication Day on the 8th of November, when “Saints Archangels Michael and Gabriel” are celebrated, was founded in 1991 in Poiana Hașca in the Stânișoara Mountains, in memory of all those who suffered terribly in detention, during the communist regime.

Built of wooden beams, on a concrete foundation, the church was finished in 1992. It was painted between 1994-2000 using the tempera technique, by painter Mihai Gabor, following the Byzantine style, both inside and out. The iconostasis – made by Pantelimon Peiu from Târgu Neamț-, is made of oak wood. An octagonal spire extends the nave upwards. The entrance to the porch is done through the Southern part of the building, through a solid oak door. Access to the monastery is via a forest road, a side road in Petru Vodă Village, that comes off the county road from Poiana Largului towards Târgu Neamț.

Photo gallery:

Father Justin’ life was based on an intense liturgical activity. He kept severe fasting for long periods of time and received the visits of hundreds of pilgrims daily, which led to the reducing of his sleeping schedule to only 45 minutes a day, sometimes. His advice always went straight to the core of the human heart, and his prayers were never left without an answer: miracles abounded in the lives of those who came to ask for help and redemptions. Father Hariton Negrea, abbot of Petru Vodă Monastery, recalls the miracle of filling the empty boxes with flour for the preparation of bread, the multiplication of food for hungry people, the exorcism of evil spirits from tormented souls, and the miraculous curing of many illnesses. Father Justin’ miracles are still touching hearts and souls nowadays. So many Christians and pilgrims are still sending letters of testimony to the monastery, for the many miracles that Father Justin interceded in their lives.

“The period of detention that Father Justin has gone through was favorable for self-knowledge, self-reflection, and spiritual search, through experiencing deep suffering. The time spent in prison helped him a lot throughout his spiritual life, adding to the knowledge of his own weaknesses, in total surrendering to God’s Will. He was thus strengthened by his faith and unwavering hope. His imprisonment was the way through which Father Justin learned the true prayer based on sacrifice, suffering and self-giving,” said Father Hariton Negrea, abbot of Petru Vodă Monastery, in an interview about Father Justin. You can watch the entire interview by clicking the link below: https://manastirea.petru-voda.ro/2019/02/10/interviu-cu-parintele-hariton-negrea-la-centenarul-nasterii-parintelui-justin-parvu/

A feeling of deep tranquility and spiritual peace engulfs pilgrims who arrive at Petru Vodă Monastery in Neamț. People leave this place feeling better, more at peace with themselves and the world.

Source of information and photos: https://petruvoda.mmb.ro/

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