A prayer service was celebrated on Wednesday evening, January 30, 2019, in the St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church in Brussels, to mark the beginning of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event brought together Church leaders, diplomats, MEPs and EU civil servants, Christian representatives to the European institutions, members and friends of the Romanian community in Brussels - all of them united in prayer that God will bless these six months when Romania is at the helm of the European family.
Those gathered prayed that God "may protect and enlighten our leaders as they take up the responsibility of these new duties, to act for the benefit of all the people of the European Union." "Make them, and us all, - the prayer went on - to act in a way that is pleasing to you and lead a life in accordance with the Gospel. Grant them profound and lasting peace. Speak to their hearts good things concerning your Church and all your people that through the faithful conduct of their duties we may live peaceful and serene lives in all piety and holiness. Sustain the good in their goodness; make the wicked good through Your goodness. Remember, Lord, the people here present and those 11 who are absent with good cause. Have mercy on them and on us according to the multitude of Your mercy.".
Addressing the attendees, at the end of the service, Rev. Fr. Sorin SELARU, the director of the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions, stressed that "we bring prayers of gratitude for the goodwill bestowed upon the Romanian people, now, when, for the first time in history, Romania takes over the presidency of the European Union. Our grateful thoughts also go to the ones who strived for our country to become a part of this European family, having therewith in mind the founding fathers of the EU.". Noting the ambitious priorities announced by the Romanian Presidency, focused especially on securing and strengthening cohesion within the European family, Rev. SELARU underscored that, in striving to achieve all these goals, EU leaders should always have the human being at the center of their concerns. "The human being, is not just an object of a certain market or a number in a global consumerist equation, but a brother or a sister, a son or a daughter, a mother or a father, a relative, a friend or a neighbour - from near or far, a person with gifts and needs, a rational and sensitive subject, who needs to be bolstered and helped," Rev. SELARU concluded.