First hierarch of the Romanian Church from 1947 to 1976.

This patriarch was a great figure for his church, the Orthodox Church of Romania, and for the Orthodox Catholic Church of France.

He acceded to the patriarchal function during the period of communist takeover of his country, a period of violent persecution of Christians. This accession happened as follows:

During the 1939-1945 war, the future patriarch Justinian was a parish priest.

Romania was at war with the Germans. He was given the opportunity to help the secretary of the Communist Party (Georghiu Dej) hide from Nazi prosecution. When the victorious Soviet Russians imposed communist rule on Romania, the Romanian party secretary became the country's strongman. He remembered the priest who hid him and arranged for him to become bishop and patriarch.

This step made of authority and recognition somewhat attenuated the roughness of the life of the Rumanian church under the yoke of the communists, well decided to suppress Christianity in Rumania. The Patriarch had to be (and was) absolutely respected.

A man attached to parish life, Justinien was gentle. He was loved by his people.

In April 1967, on the recommendation of the Romanian emigrant priest, Virgile Georgiu (1) (the author of the novel "the twenty-fifth hour"), the archpriest Father, Eugraph Kovalevsky, who had become Bishop Jean de Saint-Denis, surrendered in Bucharest with Patriarch Justinian, to submit to him the question of the Orthodox Church of France which found itself without canonical attachment since the birth in heaven, on July 2, 1966, of the Holy Archbishop Jean of Shanghai and San Francisco, protector within the Russian Church Abroad of the Western faithful.

The Patriarch received Bishop John as head (head) of the Church, gave him the Holy Chrism and waited, asking for it, for the favor of the regime to receive and bless the Church of France in canonical protection and obedience. of the Church of Romania.

This happened in 1972, when the regime loosened its grip and under the presidency of Justinian, the Council of Bishops decided to accept and protect the French Orthodox.

On a trip, leaving the country for the first time, Patriarch Justinian visited the Abbey of Chevetogne in Belgium, the bi-ritual, Latin-Slavonic Benedictine abbey. There he decided to consecrate a new bishop for the Church of France, Bishop Jean de Saint-Denis having been born in heaven on January 30, 1970.

(1) Father Virgil refused to know the Romanian Church of the time, knowing that it was led and mistreated by the communist regime. He knew, however, the quality of the Patriarch.

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