Biography of Metropolitan Parthenios of Citium on Cyprus

METROPOLITAN PARTHENIUS OF CITIUM and all Cyprus was born in the town of Beresti in the province of Galati in Romania on June 29, 1977 (old calendar), the Feastday of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. For this reason at his baptism he received the name Peter. He was baptized by the ever-memorable Bishop Clement of Galati, of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania. Peter completed primary school in his own town, but attended high school at the town called Tecuchi. His parents and grandparents were known for their struggles for the sake of patristic piety. His spiritual parents breathed into him the love for the spiritual and the monastic order. At only 18 years old he entered the Holy Monastery of the Archangels in the province of Vrancea. He was tonsured to the small schema and received the name Parthenius. The region of Vrancea, in which the Monastery of the Archangels is located, is well known for its several Greek Monasteries and Sketes - metochia (satellite monasteries) of the Holy Mountain of Athos. For this reason, at the monastery, he was able to have contact with the Greek and Athonite monasticism. This was possibly also the reason why he came to love the Greek language and tried as much as he could to learn it. His great grandfather and his grandfather, as well as his parents, since the introduction of the new calendar in Romania, had remained steadfast Confessors of the Genuine Orthodox Faith, and for this reason were subjected to several persecutions and imprisonments. His great grandfather was betrayed to the police, with the result of his house being raided, his books and icons were confiscated, and he was imprisoned. But also the priests that Fr. Parthenius, and his parents and grandparents also, were guided by, were very strict in their asceticism. We refer not only to the ever-memorable Hieromonk Gamael, but also to the ever-memorable Hieromonk Menas, known for his asceticism and miracles, who left an imprint on the personality of the future Metropolitan Parthenius. Hieromonk Menas had suggested to Bishop Clement to ordain Parthenius to the deaconate. Bishop Clement agreed but reposed before this could take place (+1998). He was therefore ordained to the deaconate, and later to the priesthood by Bishop Cassian of Iasi on November 16, 1998. Ten years later, on April 19, 2008, Bishop Gerontius of Vrancea raised him to the rank of Archimandrite and Chancellor. Archimandrite Parthenius played a crucial role in the union between the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania with the Genuine Orthodox Churches of Greece, Cyprus, Russia and Africa. Bishops Cassian and Gerontius had sent Archimandrite Parthenius to Greece twice for the purpose of meeting with Metropolitan Cerycus and discussing issues regarding the Confession of Faith and Apostolic Succession. Unofficial dialogue had already existed between the Churches since a decade earlier but only through letters, telephone and internet. But it was Archimandrite Parthenius who initiated the first real life contact by way of actually arriving in Greece, to discuss the issue of unity in the sacred struggle face to face. On July 6, 2008 (old calendar), the clergy and faithful of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Cyprus, after three years of being without a local shepherd since the repose of Metropolitan Epiphanius (+2005), unanimously elected the young Archimandrite Parthenius to be their new hierarch. The petition of the clergy and faithful of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Cyprus was received by the Pan-Orthodox Council consisting of Metropolitans Cerycus, Cassian, Gerontius, Matthew and Seraphim. They approved the petition and granted its fulfillment, thereby electing Archimandrite Parthenius as Metropolitan of Citium and all Cyprus. On July 13, 2008 (old calendar), Archimandrite Parthenius was tonsured to the great schema. On the next day, July 14, he was consecrated to the episcopacy by Metropolitan Cerycus, assisted by Bishops Matthew and Gerontius, with the written consent of Bishops Cassian and Seraphim. The consecration took place in the Cathedral of St. Xenia in Limasol, Cyprus, in the presence of thousands of laymen from throughout Cyprus as well as representatives from the federal and local governments and the press. As the latest ecclesiastical events show us, Metropolitan Parthenius was foreordained by God to shepherd the pious flock of Cyprus. His canonical and lawful election, according to the rules of the charter of the local Autocephalous Church of Cyprus, and his subsequent consecration, served as an end to a turbulent period in the history of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Cyprus, provoked by the immoral, self-elected and self-appointed false bishop Sebastian with his very few followers, who together with their evil collaborators, used the immoral and fallen group of bishops of the Nicholaitans of Greece, to achieve their personal goals. But their plans have been proven unsuccessful, because they did not take into account the will of God, who is always attentive to the heart of his people. The faithful members of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Cyprus thank the Sister Church of Romania for setting aside her own needs and offering one of her most honourable sons, a truly worthy clergyman, to shepherd the Church of Cyprus which was in such a need of a shepherd. On 15/28 September, 2008 (old calendar), the newly-consecrated Parthenius was enthroned in the Cathedral of the Holy Three Hierarchs, Troulli, Larnaca, as Metropolitan of Citium and all Cyprus. Present at the event were Metropolitan Cerycus of Mesogaea (representing the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece) and Bishop Gerontius of Vrancea (representing the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania). Several clergy and thousands of faithful also attended, along with government officials and representatives from the national press agencies. With his enthronement, Metropolitan Parthenius of Citium officially assumed his responsibilities as the lawful and canonical Metropolitan of Citium and Exarch of all Cyprus, since he was elected according to the charter of the Autocephalous Genuine Orthodox Church of Cyprus, by the vote of the clergy and the people.

To PARTHENIUS, the Most All-Sacred & Divinely-Appointed Metropolitan, of the Holy & Sacred Metropolis of Citium, President of Amathus, Neapolis, Limasol & Curium, & Most Honoured Exarch of all Cyprus, MANY YEARS!
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Homily of Metropolitan Parthenios