April 30, 2020

Statement of the Holy Monastery of Saint John the New in Suceava, Romania in Light of the Case of Coronavirus

The Holy Monastery of Saint John the New in Suceava, Romania contains the sacred relics of the Holy New Martyr John the New of Suceava, which are highly honored for being the source of many miracles. Even the primary local hospital of the area is named after the Saint, the Saint John the New Hospital.

The 90-year-old Archbishop Pimen of Suceava and Radauti recently was tested positive with the coronavirus. His Archdiocese and where he lives is located in the Monastery of Saint John the New in Suceava. He began feeling symptoms at the beginning of Holy Week. This past Easter and on Bright Monday, Archbishop Pimen served the Divine Liturgy as well as other Services throughout the week and communed from the same cup as all the other clergy and monks. However, on Bright Monday, April 20, he became seriously ill and was admitted to Saint John the New Hospital. Because he had a severe case, he was flown that night to Bucharest and admitted to the Matei BalÈ™ Institute for Infectious Diseases, after being tested positive with the new coronavirus. Saint John the New Monastery immediately went under lockdown, and an epidemiological investigation was initiated.

When the results of the investigation were released, the fathers of the Monastery of Saint John the New in Suceava released a Statement, that said the following:

"We wanted you to know that our Hierarch His Eminence Pimen liturgized for the Paschal Divine Liturgy, as well as the next day, together with all the fathers of the Holy Monastery of Saint John the New. They all communed from the same Holy Chalice, as is usually done in the Divine Liturgy, except one, the Deacon, who performed the duties of the sexton and took care of the order of the Services. Now, after many discussions and negative comments heard on television, the laboratory results of the fathers and lay ministers of our Holy Monastery have come in. Of all those who submitted the test, only one was found to be positive, and this was the Deacon who did NOT communicate from the Holy Chalice held by the Bishop. This was determined by God for all those lukewarm people who approach the Holy Chalice and the 'humble' tongs with the fear of being infected by a virus and for those who do not want to understand that it is in fact the Holy Body and Holy Blood of the Savior Christ, which is the source of life and is all grace."

It was also announced by the local Health Committee that 25 Priests of the Holy Archdiocese, apart from the Holy Monastery, who came into contact with His Eminence during his illness, were subjected to diagnostic tests and found to be negative.

Archbishop Pimen is still in the process of recovery.