Archive for the ‘Blessed Vasile Aftenie’ Tag

Feast of Blessed Vasile Aftenie (May 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of Romania, 1948-1952

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED VASILE AFTENIE (JUNE 14, 1899-MAY 10, 1950)

Romanian Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr, 1950

Blessed Vasile Aftenie served God and won the crown of martyrdom.

Aftenie was originally a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He, born in Lodroman, Valea Lunga, Alba, Transylvania, on June 14, 1899, reached the age of legal adulthood during World War I.  Our saint, drafted into the army, served in Italy and Galicia.  The redrawing of the map of Europe after the war expanded the borders of Romania and broke up Austria-Hungary.

Our saint, briefly a law student in Bucharest, Romania, after World War I, turned toward theology instead.  He matriculated at the Pontifical Greek College of Saint Athanasius, Rome, Italy, in 1919.  Aftenie, ordained to the priesthood on January 1, 1926, spent much of his career at the seminary in Bucharest–teaching (1926-1934) then serving as the dean (1934-1937).  Our saint, Canon of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Blaj (1937-1939), served as the Rector of the Theological Academy (1939-1940).  On April 12, 1940, our saint became the Auxiliary Bishop of Faragas si Alba Iulia and the Titular Bishop of Ulpiana.  Starting on June 15, 1941, he served as the Apostolic administrator of the diocese.

In Spring 1945, during the final months of World War II in Europe, Communist forces began to consolidate their power in Romania.  With the end of the monarchy in December 1947, Romania became a Communist state in the political orbit of the Soviet Union.  The law of August 4, 1948, officially granted freedom of religion and defined coercive acts intended to curb religious practices as crimes.  However, that law also brought organized religion under state control, thereby rendering churches allowed to exist as agents of the Communist government.

Aftenie became a prisoner of the Communist government on October 28, 1948.  First incarcerated at the Dragoslavele work camp, our saint went into solitary confinement at Caldarusani monastery, near Bucharest.  A year of torture began on May 10, 1949.  Aftenie, mutilated, crippled, and broken mentally, died of a gunshot at Vacaresti on May 10, 1950.  He was 50 years old.

Pope Francis declared our saint a Venerable and beatified him in 2019.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 26, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGARET CLITHEROW, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1586

THE FEAST OF FLANNERY O’CONNOR, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC WRITER

THE FEAST OF GEORGE RUNDLE PRYNNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JAMES RENDEL HARRIS, ANGLO-AMERICAN CONGREGATIONALIST THEN QUAKER BIBLICAL SCHOLAR AND ORIENTALIST; ROBERT LUCCOCK BENSLY, ENGLISH BIBLICAL TRANSLATOR AND ORIENTALIST; AGNES SMITH LEWIS AND MARGARET DUNLOP SMITH GIBSON, ENGLISH BIBLICAL SCHOLARS AND LINGUISTS; SAMUEL SAVAGE LEWIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND LIBRARIAN OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE; AND JAMES YOUNG, SCOTTISH UNITED PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND LITERARY TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDGER, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MUNSTER

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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Blessed Vasile Aftenie

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ

before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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