Remembering Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae

By Metropolitan Michel Philippe Laroche 

As a young priest, I knew Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae very well, in the 70-80s, as I met with him both in France, where I received him in my home, and in Bucharest. I had already met the great Starets Cleopa and Fr. Petroniu from Sihăstria Monastery, as well as Fr. Benedict Ghiuş, who reposed in the Lord at Cernica and who was my spiritual Father, and who all told me about the experience of the Jesus Prayer.

The conversations I had with Fr. Stăniloae concerned the great importance that he saw in publishing the Romanian translation of the Philokaly, which he considered the most important work of his life, and, more generally, its dissemination in both the Orthodox and the Catholic world – as his view was not ecumenical, but universal.

He never spoke to me about his practice of the Jesus Prayer, but his preoccupation and rigor regarding the publication of good translations of the Philokalic texts place him in the lineage of the great starets who all shared that interest – and to whom we owe, before him, the first schools of translation and publications of the Philokaly – such as St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite, St. Ambrose of Optina, and above all, St. Paisios Velichkovsky. Continue reading