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Zoe Dumitrescu-Bușulenga
Eminescu – His Life

Book release at the Holy Putna Monastery
January 15 2009

Book release
The Romanian Academician Zoe Dumitrescu Bușulenga, who became nun Benedicta five years before her death in 2006, chose the Holy Putna Monastery as the place of her final rest. The Romanian national poet Mihai Eminescu was the axis of her scientific, cultural and personal preoccupations. All her life she went deeper and deeper into the inner life of our national poet and she continuously declared that his life represents the correct positioning of the Romanian identity within the riverbed of the essential truths of humanity.

On the occasion of 120 years since the death of Mihai Eminescu, the Foundation “Credință și creație. Acad. Zoe Dumitrescu Bușulenga – Maica Benedicta” (Faith and creation. Academician Zoe Dumitrescu Bușulenga – Nun Benedicta) initiated the publishing of the Academician’s work on Eminescu. The first volume of the series, Eminescu – His Life, was released on Thursday, January 15, at the Putna Monastery, in the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Pimen, Academician Dan Hăulică – the author of the volume’s foreword and professor Dumitru Irimia – the volume’s editor. Other participants included officials of Putna commune and Suceava County Council, members of the Bukovina Writers Society, monks of the monastery, teachers and students from Putna, Vicov, Rădăuți and Suceava.

At 1 o’clock in the afternoon, His Eminence Pimen served in the royal church of the monastery a memorial service for Mihai Eminescu and then, in the cemetery a memorial service for Nun Benedicta. An artistic program followed. Young students recited poems of Mihai Eminescu and sang songs dedicated to the poet. The Bukovina Writers Society awarded Paul Iruc’s book “Eminescu și devenirea poeziei europene moderne” – Eminescu and the becoming of European modern poetry.

Afterwards, in the Great Hall of the Royal House of the monastery the book Eminescu – His Life was released. His Eminence Pimen, honorary president of the Foundation was the first to speak. “Stephen the Great, Mihai Eminescu, Academician Zoe Dumitrescu Bușulenga – Nun Benedicta... To these three persons all of us look. About these three persons we should think all the time. And through them we think about the Almighty, about Whom these three thought and for Whom they lived. They struggled to get close to God. They struggled to help people. And, just like every person, there were moments in their lives when they were less close to God. But, in the end they reached God. In these three people’s lives we see the itinerary of a man’s life, this ascent towards God passing through many difficulties.

Today, the Academician Zoe Dumitrescu Bușulenga – Nun Benedicta presents us the ascent towards God of Mihai Eminescu. She endeavored to better understand and to present to us the life of the immortal Mihai Eminescu. Even though he died 120 years ago, many of us did not understand Mihai Eminescu properly. That is why the work of Academician Bușulenga marks the beginning of presenting Mihai Eminescu the way he truly thought and wrote.”

Mrs. Teodora Stanciu, the secretary of the Foundation, talked about the projects that the Foundation wants to materialize in order to cultivate the cultural and spiritual heritage of Nun Benedicta. Following up, Professor Dumitru Irimia of the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași talked about the joy he felt working on this edition of the book. He talked about Eminescu’s continuous struggle in search for the truth and for the absolute. Mr. Irimia concluded “Eminescu’s relation with the divine dimension of the world is maybe the most profound of the whole Romanian culture.”

Academician Dan Hăulică, the president of the foundation, talked about the importance of Mihai Eminescu for the Romanians’ being. “Eminescu is a redemption for all of us. And this is what we have to have the courage to say, to strongly affirm, against the unreasonable attacks, against this insanity that tries to tear us off from one of the greatest roots not only of the Romanian spirituality, but of the Romanian identity...

From “ever” the whole presence of Eminescu connects to us, to the being of our nation and to anything that is Romanian permanence. He takes us toward an “ever” of the Romanian being insomuch that our engagement, our duty towards Eminescu must be of the same magnitude.”

Talking about the cover of the book which was worked out by Mr. Mircia Dumitrescu from the statue of Eminescu created by Vasile Gorduz, Academician Dan Hăulică said that the sculpture represents “the passing of Eminescu to a spirituality more and more unsophisticated, to an exit from anything that is conventional stylelessness – nothing from the classical curtain. It is a kind of alb ready for the Final Judgment that the grand poetry puts on. This is the very meaning of Eminescu’s spiritual evolution, evolution capable of an extraordinary austerity, evolution which was lived in depth, dramatically, not implicit like the evolution of a flower which is born only to be beautiful, but the evolution of a great moral conquest. That is why it is good for these visual achievements to accompany us, because they reveal the powers of the thought which model the human being from within and make from a great creator of art also a moral example. Let us, in everything we do, be worthy of such a, not only artistic, but also human example.”

The father abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Melchisedec Velnic, thanked all those who made possible the publishing of the book. He then urged all those who can support the publishing of the rest of the volumes to do so and thus join the ranks of the ancestors who served God through serving their neighbors.

In the end all the participants had the joy to listen an audio recording of Nun Benedicta, as if strengthening what had been said there. Her voice, harsh and encouraging at the same time, is among the voices that can talk “to men and to God and to beasts.”

We believe that the joy of the participants to the event will flower also in the heart of every reader of this book, a book which is not an earthly biography but a description of the ascent of man towards perfection. Thus, in the desolating secularization of today, to assume the model of Eminescu appears to us not only as an option, but as an imperative for all those who want to reach Heaven.