The great Romanian theologian of the 20th century now has a museum in the heart of Bucharest, near kilometre zero.
The museum dedicated to Father Staniloae was set up by the Old St George Parish and is located on the ground floor of the parish house in the courtyard.
Parish Priest Sorin Tancău explained to Basilica.ro where the idea for the project came from and presented some important aspects regarding the usefulness of the museum.
“The initiative to organize a parish museum started from the fact that the famous theologian lived for a long time in that space with his wife and daughter, Lydia, starting in 1947.”
Father Tancău emphasized that “the warm and friendly museum space, which brings to the fore the luminous face of the theologian appreciated throughout the Orthodox world, was made out of gratitude for the Father’s missionary activity.”
“As for when the museum will be inaugurated, this will take place immediately after Romanian society will overcome the pandemic period, and it aims to host various book launches, theological discussions, courses and seminars for students, media programs which evoke the theological personality of Father Dumitru Staniloae, but we also look for the visits of pilgrims,” said Fr. Tancău.
Currently, the parish is working on a virtual tour in images, as well as a short film, in several languages of international circulation, for the purpose of a presentation for visitors.
The Museum project
The arrangement for the museum began in the spring of 2019, at the expense of the parish, but with the support of a team of volunteers who began to transform the rooms, “into a place suitable for honoring the memory of the great theologian.”
The archive images in which Father Dumitru Staniloae is presented were a source of inspiration for the organization of the museum.
The first room is arranged as we find Father Dumitru Staniloae in most photos, in an interior with Romanian specifics, with a wall of wool woven during the war, surrounded by many traditional icons painted on glass, typically Transylvanian, to help the visitor remember the saying of the Father, that “nowhere is the sky bluer than in Vladeni,” his birthplace.
The second room of the museum was designed as “a cultural space where one can admire original manuscripts of Father Staniloae, donated by Mr Costion Nicolescu, along with the icon dear to the Father – the Holy Trinity and the two great holy theologians he translated and interpreted as a patristic's scholar: Saint Maximos the Confessor and Saint Gregory Palamas.”
“Also there are countless photos of the Father with his family, students, the community of Rohia Monastery, with illustrious friends of the Father such as Nichifor Crainic and Father Arsenie Boca, but also from personal events such as the award of the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Bucharest,” said Father Sorin.
“All these immortalized moments are completed by the theological work of the famous Orthodox dogmatist and confessor, printed in different editions, as well as dedicated philatelic issues, medals commemorating the Centenary of his birth and the Congress organized 110 years after the professor’s birth.”
Father Dumitru Staniloae
Father Dumitru Staniloae was born on November 16, 1903, in Vlădeni, Brașov County.
His theological work shows him as one of the most important Christian thinkers in the world, a Father of twentieth-century Orthodoxy. Father John Meyendorff said of him that “he is the greatest Orthodox theologian in the whole world of the last century.”