Pope Francis beatifies 7 Greek Catholic bishops in Blaj, Multinational Exercise Saber Guardian 2019 in 5 locations in Romania
Pope Francis’ Visit – The 7 martyr Greek Catholic bishops beatified on Sunday left to the Romanian people a ‘precious’ heritage which can be summed up in two words: freedom and mercifulness, said Pope Francis before 100 thousand people who attended the Holy Mass held by the pontiff in Blaj (in central Romania) known as a spiritual place of the Romanian Greek Catholics. The 7 bishops who died for their faith during the communist regime will be included in the calendar with their new holy names and will be celebrated on June 2. Pope Franscis underlined that the martyrs proved faith and great love for their people in the face of the Communist persecution. Attending the ceremony in Blaj are president Klaus Iohannis and the PM Viorica Dancila. Also on Sunday, the 3rd day of his visit to Romania, the pontiff will meet with members of the Rroma community. On Saturday the Pope met with young people and families in Iasi) northeastern Romania), home to a large community of Catholics, and said that he felt together with the people present the warmth of being with their family. Pope Francis visited the Cathedral ‘Holy Virgin Mary, Queen’ and blessed 800 children, old and sick people. As many as 150 thousand pilgrims attended the ceremonies. Also on Saturday the pontiff held a Mass at the Marian shrine in Şumuleu Ciuc in eastern Transylvania, a place inhibited by a majority ethnic Hungarian population, which venues annually the largest Catholic pilgrimage in Central and Eastern Europe. “Let’s Walk Together” is the motto of Pope Francis’ 3-day visit to Romania. The visit occurs 20 years after the one paid by Pope John Paul II, which was the first visit by a Pope to a country with a majority Orthodox population.
Meeting – The Romanian PM Viorica Dancila on Sunday met with her Moldovan counterpart Pavel Filip, in Iasi, in the context of the two officials’ participation in the events occasioned by His Holiness Pope Francis’ visit to Romania. The two PMs talked about the Romanian-Moldovan relations and the two countries’ ongoing common projects. Other topics tackled during the meeting were: the continuation of programs for refurbishing schools and kindergartens, the development of road infrastructure, energy inter-connection, the building of the Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline and of the Ungheni-Chisinau railway with European standard gauge as well as the framework for providing roaming services. The Moldovan PM thanked Romania for the constant support granted for the implementation of their agenda of reforms, including a grant of more than 200 thousand Euros recently offered, the implementation of the 112 emergency call service, and the provision of state-of-the-art medical equipment to the hospital in Comrat
Bookfest – The 14th edition of Bookfest International Book Fair comes to an end on Sunday. The guest of honor of the fair this year was Great Britain. Bookfest brought more than one million books, of which 4 thousand new releases, and it included more then 350 events. Casa Radio publishing house was among the many publishers participating in the fair, contributing over 150 special titles.
Weather forecast – Meteorologists have issued a fresh alert for the entire territory of Romania valid until Tuesday morning. Unsettled weather, rainfalls, strong winds and hail are expected in most regions. Hydrologists have also issued a code orange alert for floods valid until Sunday afternoon for 22 hydrographic basins in several regions of Romania. The heavy rainfalls and storms have affected 90 localities from 22 counties. In Prahova county, in the south, three children drowned in the high flood, while a 4th kid is reported missing. Almost 11 thousand firefighters, policemen and gendarmes were involved in the operations of evacuating the population from the areas running the risk of flooding, of saving people and limiting the effects of the extreme weather phenomena. The government announced urgent measures to support the people and communities affected by the floods.
Exercise – Monday will see the opening ceremonies for the Multinational Exercise Saber Guardian 2019 in 5 locations in Romania where the main drills will take place: Cincu, Borduşani, Babadag, Smârdan, and Râşnov. The exercise is meant to highlight the cohesion, unity and solidarity of partner and allied states, with a view to ensuring defense against any aggression, anywhere in Europe. (translation by L. Simion)