At St Bartholomew’s, one of his monastic objects, known as the ‘Paraman’, is preserved, which every monk always wears under his surplice. On the Paraman, which bears the embroidered Passion of Jesus, is written ‘He was sentenced to 16 years of hard labour for his anti-communist attitudes’.
Archimandrite Sofian Boghiu was a monk and then staretz of the Antim Monastery in Bucharest for about 60 years. He died on 14 September 2002, the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross. A spiritual personality of great value, unanimously recognised, who brought honour to Romanian monasticism and the Church.
His holiness was recognised from the very beginning, due to his witness to the true Gospel, both in word and colour, through spiritual sons and icons. In the time of communism, he was an intellectual and spiritual reference point in Bucharest, especially through the ‘Burning Bush’ Movement, founded in 1945 with 40 Romanian monks and intellectuals.
The burning bush – burning but not consumed – was a symbol of unceasing prayer. In addition to daily prayer, a series of lectures were held in the library of the Antim Monastery, on the subject of prayer, the relationship between man and God, and the history of the Fathers, beginning with the apostolic period. Many believers participated in these initiatives, despite the difficult times. Fr Sofian was arrested, along with 15 other people from Burning Bush including Fr Roman Braga, in June 1958. Sentenced to 16 years of hard labour, he was interned first in Jilava and then in Aiud.
After four years he was sent to the forced labour camp in Salcia, near Braila. He returned home, to the monastery of Antim, in July 1964.
At St Bartholomew’s, one of his monastic objects is kept, known as the ‘Paraman’, which every monk always wears under his surplice. On the Paraman, which bears the embroidered Passion of Jesus, it was written “He was sentenced to 16 years of hard labour for his anti-communist attitudes”.