Over 52,000 pilgrims have passed by the canopy in the courtyard of the Moldova and Bucovina Metropolitan in order to worship and pray to the relics of Saint Pious Paraskeva, considered to be the Patron saint of Moldova and the needy.
The spokesperson for the Romanian Gendarmerie, colonel Sorin Despina, declared that this year's pilgrimage to the Saint Paraskeva Feast took place without any incidents until this point.
"Over 52,000 pilgrims passed by the relics and together with the organizers there were measures established, so that overcrowding can be avoided, as well as respecting sanitary measures. There was a corridor established where 3,500 people can fit together at once. Personnel was established throughout the length of the entire corridor so that they can ensure that masks are being worn, hands disinfected and social distance of one meter between pilgrims maintained," Sorin Despina specified.
According to the quoted source, for the day of October 14, when the orthodox calendar celebrates the Feast of Saint Pious Paraskeva, there were additional safety measures taken. Thus, the Liturgical service will be officiated on a specially designed podium, on Stefan cel Mare Boulevard, in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral. A few large screens are placed on the boulevard, so that those who came for the pilgrimage to be able to listen and follow the religious ceremony.
Access in the area is permitted to anyone, regardless of the town or residence or if they are vaccinated or not. The only conditions are to observe the measures of social distancing that are mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic and to wear the sanitary protection mask.
Since 1955, the Romanian Orthodox Church decided to celebrate the feast of Saint Pious Paraskeva on October 14, a reason why around this day the City of Iasi becomes the largest pilgrimage center in the country. Numerous believers from the country and abroad gather to the Saint Pious Paraskeva relics, but also to other saints' relics brought especially to this pilgrimage.
The believers who come to Iasi during this period can also pray to the relics of Saint George the Pilgrim, whose reliquary is placed in the same canopy where the relics of the Saint Paraskeva are.AGERPRES(RO - author: Daniela Malache, editor: Karina Olteanu; EN - author: Catalin Cristian Trandafir, editor: Maria Voican)