June 18, 2013

The Repose of Elder Justin Parvu (June 16, 2013)

Archimandrite Justin Parvu reposed in the Lord on Sunday evening, June 16, at 10:40 PM, after a prolonged illness. The Funeral Service will be celebrated at Petru Voda Monastery on Thursday, June 20.

Life of Father Justin Parvu

Father Justin Parvu was one of the greatest Elders of Romania, being known as a renowned confessor and abbot of the Monastery of Petru Voda.

He was born on 10 February 1919, in the village of Poiana Largului of Neamt County.

In 1936, the zealous young man at only 17 years of age entered the Monastery of Dur─âu.

After only one year, in 1937, he entered the Theological Seminary at the Monastery of Cernica.

From 1938-1940 he was an active member of the Legionary Movement.

In 1940 he was tonsured a monastic, and a year later he was ordained priest. He received ordination at the age of 22.

Between 1942-1944, Father Justin Parvu was a missionary priest and called to the Eastern Front, from Neamt to Odessa. He participated, along with "Fourth Mountain Division", in the Second World War, reaching the Don. After his discharge, he continued his studies at the Romanian Seminary. He graduated Seminary in 1948, and then the persecution by the Bolsheviks began.

Father Justin Parvu was arrested on political grounds and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He passed through several prisons of the country: Suceava, Vacaresti, Jilava Gherla Periprava and Aiud. Then came the hard labor in the mines at Baia Sprie, then "re-education" in Pitesti prison. In 1960, Father Justin was sentenced to another four years in prison for failing to renounce his faith.

Father Justin was released in 1964, along with all the others convicted based on "political" reasons who were still alive. Because of difficulties he encountered after his release, he worked as a forestry worker.

After a while Father Justin was received into the brotherhood of Secu Monastery. Thus, between 1966-1974, he served as a priest and confessor in the Monastery.

Between 1974 and 1989, Father was a priest-monk at Bistrita Monastery, where he took up residence under forced supervision by the communists.

In 1976, by the grace of God, Father Justin visited the monasteries of Mount Athos.

After 1990, with the Revolution, when the political regime changed, Father Justin Parvu returned to Secu Monastery for about a year, serving as priest and confessor. After this he retired to a hermitage, thinking to spend the rest of his days in prayer and fasting.

God's arrangement with Father Justin was different. Thus, between 1991-1992, with two other monks, Father Justin arrived in the village of Petru Voda. Here, he founded Petru Voda Monastery in Neamt County, which venerates the Romanian martyrs of the communist prisons.

The Monastery church is dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. At some distance from the Monastery, Father Justin Parvu layed the foundation of a monastery for nuns in 1999. A nursing home and an orphanage for children also were established. Not long after there began construction of a hospital.

Besides all these labors and toils, Father Justin Parvu claimed other convents and monasteries, such as the Huta in Bihar, Sub Piatra, Alba Iulia, Cave of St. John Cassian, Cave of St. Andrew and the Monastery of St. John Cassian in Dobrogea.

In 2003, he established a monthly publication to teach the Orthodox mindset and way of life called "Monastic Voice". In 2008 he established another publication called "RESPECT".

In 2008, on November 2, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite.

On February 10, 2013 he reached the age of 94 years.

On June 16, 2013 he reposed in the Lord.

God rest his soul in peace.

Sayings of Father Justin Parvu

1. A brother asked: "Father, Abba Barsanuphios says that there were only three men left with power from God. If this was 550 years after Christ, how many are there today?"

Fr. Justin said to the brother: "Three hundred. For in the end times the saints will do signs and wonders, but will be unknown due to humility."

2. "The burdens that God puts on our shoulders, if they are carried with wisdom, in time, they can clean and sanctify our souls. Facing difficulties, the person then stops complicating things with nonsense and runs through the barriers of time."