LUMEN INFINITUM- Orthodox and Greek Catholic believers worldwide, including Romania, a country with a majority Orthodox population, are today celebrating Holy Saturday, the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus Christ's body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell. In Jerusalem, the Holy Fire Mass is celebrated today. It is a unique orthodox annual ritual, during which the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem comes out of the Holy Sepulchre with candles lit and shares the light, called “lumen infinitum”. A delegation of the Romanian Patriarchate will bring over the Holy Light from Jerusalem to Romania, by a special plane. Yesterday, on Good Friday, the Passion of Christ was remembered by the Orthodox believers. Hundreds of people in Targu Jiu, southern Romania, symbolically retraced “Via Dolorosa” or the Way of Suffering, marching in the longest such procession in Europe.
POLL - 68 % of the Romanians believe Easter should be celebrated simultaneously by the Orthodox and Catholic believers, a poll conducted by IRES shows. This option is endorsed mostly by respondents over 65, living in urban areas, as well as by Romanian nationals living in the central region of Transylvania and Banat, in the south east, regions which are home to many mixed Orthodox and Catholic families. 87% of the respondents say they will attend the Easter Mass. The poll was conducted in April, on a nation-wide representative sample of 1,240 people aged over 18, with an error margin of plus/minus 2.8%.
ROYAL CELEBRATION- Romania’s Crown Princess Margareta and Prince Radu, alongside officials and members of other European Royal Houses, are currently in Stockholm to attend a series of events marking the 70th anniversary of King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden. Princess Margareta and Prince Radu who started an official visit to Sweden on Friday, will also attend a special mass on the second Easter day, at the Romanian Orthodox Bishopric and will meet with members of the Romanian community. This is the third official visit abroad by Romania’s royal family this year, after those to Turkey and the Republic of Moldova. The Royal House recalls that King Carl Gustaf XVI of Sweden and Queen Silvia paid a state visit to Romania back in 2003.
FLYOVER CLARIFICATIONS – The Romanian Foreign Ministry has announced that it is in permanent and direct contact with the Government in Chishinau, on the presence of a Romanian aircraft over Transdniester, a pro-Russian separatist region in the Republic of Moldova. The Romanian Foreign Ministry’s announcement comes shortly after the authorities in the separatist region claimed their airspace has been violated and activated their anti-aircraft warfare. The ministry makes clear the aircraft belongs to a private company based in Romania, which won a tender to conduct mapping and do a digital model of the relief of the Republic of Moldova. Complete information on this mission has been sent in due time to the authorities in Chishinau.
ROAMING CHARGES CUT- Mobile phone roaming charges are today cut within the European Union, in a last stage preceding their complete elimination in mid 2017. The maximum overcharge will be of five cents per minute for calls, two cents for texting, and five cents per MB for people downloading data - such as emails, pictures or social media.
BOXING-Romanian Lucian Bute will return to the boxing ring on Sunday morning. In a boxing gala hosted by Washington, Bute will fight Swedish boxer Badou Jack for the WBC super middleweight belt. Lucian Bute, 36, is the former super middleweight champion in the IBF version. He successfully defended his title nine times, for nearly four years and a half. If he wins, Bute will become the only Romanian boxer to hold two world titles in the two boxing versions. Jack Badou, 32, defends his WBC belt for the second time.
HANDBALL – Romania’s national women’s handball team will play Angola, Brazil, Montenegro, Spain and Norway in the Olympic Games Group A due this summer, following the drawing of lots in Rio de Janeiro, on Friday evening. Group B is made up of: Holland, Russia, Sweden, France, Argentina and South Korea. The Olympic handball tour will start on August 6, and the opening match will be played by Romania and Angola. To go past the group stage, the Romanian handball players will have to rank on one of the fourth positions. The women’s final is scheduled for August 20.
(Translated bu Diana Vijeu)