By Priest George Calciu who spent 21 years of his life in the comunist gulag

(Printed in April 1998 in the Holy Cross Church Newsletter)


In the Orthodox Church, the saints and the martyrs occupy a remarkable place, being for us of inestimable help in prayer and in our supplications to God. In certain difficult moments all those who pray and ask for the help of the saints know that their request will never go unanswered. There exists the corresponding tradition of which the saints of whose name we bear protest us and the martyrs which fought a for a certain cause help us in our fight to defend the Church and the right faith. 

So much the more, in these difficult times for the Romanian nation and for our Orthodox Church, when the dark forces war with all their might to make Romanians be divided and to go astray, it is necessary to rediscover the saints and martyrs, all those who took up their cross and stood firm before the enemy, confessing Christ and fighting for the faith and national liberty. Just as the first Church had transmitted martyrology from generation to generation and left over the ages inscribed with letters of blood the suffering of those that sacrificed themselves for Christ, so also we have the duty today to not forget, but to honor as it is fitting, according to tradition, those who sacrificed themselves in this century of world-wide heresy, for the right faith and for our Romanian nation. And if, at the beginning, the devil tried to destroy the bodies of the faithful, in this time he works at the destruction and losing of the soul. And with those who oppose him and opposed him, he has no mercy. 

Now, in a few days we will relive the Mystical Sacrifice and the Resurrection of the Savior who took upon Himself the sins of man in order to make certain the possibility of our rebirth into the True Life through Resurrection, we open within the framework of our publication a new chapter: Let us honor the martyrs! In each issue we will try to keep alive the memory of those who denied themselves and took up their cross and followed Christ unto the end, Romanian Golgotha, not knowing compromise or giving up. Through the power of their prayers, through the power of their supplications to God we can hope in a Resurrection of the Romanian nation, and in a return of all the wandering sons to the right faith of our fathers. 

In hoping for the canonization of the martyrs of this century as soon as it is possible, we begin this contemporary martyrology, asking for the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth and faith. 

In this issue we present some memories about Constantine Oprisan. I began with him because I was so moved by the fact that in a monastery in American converts to Orthodoxy, where not even one is of Romanian origin, he is considered a martyr, and his image was put in Church and honored! 

(Then what follows is the article we published in the Orthodox Word on Constantine Oprisan, translated into Romanian. There is also an interview with Fr. George at the end which I left out because it mentions the name of a hierarch who refused to commemorate the present-day martyrs, in Romania.}