155 Years of Existence for Sturdza Chapel in Baden-Baden (Germany): People and Events

Sturdza Chapel in Baden-Baden is one of the oldest and most important chapels built for Romanians in the diaspora (constructed between 1863 and 1866). Founded by Mihail Sturdza, ruler of Moldavia (1834-1849), the chapel was intended to shelter the remains of the founder family - Mihail, Lady Smaragda, together with their sons, Mihail and Maria. After the consecration of the chapel (1865) and the burial in its crypt of his son Mihail (1867), the founding ruler initiated a foundation to administer his property in Baden-Baden, at the center of which the chapel lies. This was meant to ensure its proper functioning even after his passing away. Being deeply connected with Moldovia, the country that he skillfully ruled for 15 years, in 1882, Mihail addressed its Primate, Saint Hierarch Joseph the Merciful (1875-1902), with the request to place the chapel in the spiritual care of the Metropolitan Church of Moldavia. Thus, from this year till the year of grace 2021, Sturdza Chapel has had a number of 12 Romanian priests, sent by the Metropolitan of Moldovia, to celebrate the Holy Mass, to sanctify and lead to salvation the Romanians that have lived, either permanently or temporarily, in Germany, France and in other countries. In their work, they were assisted by several deacons and supported by 7 of the Metropolitans of Moldovia. This study, which completes other published studies on the same topic, is intended to be a humble tribute to the founders and servants of the chapel in the “Solemn Year of the pastoral care of Romanians outside Romania”.