Archdiocese of Iaşi’s care of war orphans in the time of the Bishop Justinian Vasluianul (1945-1947)

6 August 2018

The Church, in general, and the Romanian Orthodox Church, in particular, has developed a significant philanthropic work throughout its history. It concerned about social issues of the times, categories of people in difficulty and their needs. During and especially after the Second World War, when Moldavia suffered the most, the Metropolitan Irineu Mihălcescu proposed the priest Ioan Marina as the second auxiliary bishop at the Archdiocese of Iaşi, in order to organize and coordinate the social work destined to orphaned children within this diocese (which encompassed the counties of Neamţ, Baia, Botoşani, Dorohoi). If at the level of the whole Moldavia, according to information from the time, there were 50.000 orphans, only in the Archdiocese of Iasi there were 22.215 orphans, of which 1.821 children were orphans of both parents. In this sense, he initiated and implemented a real strategy for the care of orphans, he accepted the position of President of the Patriotic Defense – Region Moldavia, he had meetings with the priests of the diocese to which he gave directions on how to work in this direction, he initiated the foundation of canteens for orphans near the churches and monasteries, he established homes for orphan children. A common practice at that time, at parish level, was „the school feast”, engaging as many believers as possible in this ministry.