Spirituality, Asceticism and Hesychasm Living in the Romanian Space of the 18th Century — Saint Vasile from Poiana Mărului
The entire Byzantine culture, as well as its inheriting ones, represent a superior synthesis of the different cultures around the Mediterranean basin. In this way, it is the culture of the East that combines its unity in Christ with the local or national diversity of different peoples, in order to affirm the ethnic identity of each nation. Byzantine Christian culture did not disappear with the siege and fall of Constantinople (1453). Its spirit, thinking and forms of manifestation continued to exist and even to develop throughout Eastern Europe, as distinct forms of expression of Orthodox Christianity. Following the Byzantine model, of the secular society with visible religious values, closely concerned with the life and activity of the Church, the Romanian countries have presented themselves throughout history as preservers and continuators of ideas and politico-religious organization, having a special openness to religious life in general and monastic in particular. This is the reason why in the first half of the 18th century the Romanian countries were seen in the Orthodox world as true oases of peace where both popular piety and political leadership allowed the development of a hesychastic spirit of prayer with both the blessing of the Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Under this favorable climate, one of the greatest missionaries of the Orthodox Church, Saint Vasile of Poiana Mărului, will carry out his activity, the one who would perfectly influence the life of Saint Paisie Velicicovschi.