Pope Francis on June 1, 2019, visited Our Lady Queen of Iasi Cathedral, where he prayed at the memorial to Blessed Anton Durcovici (1888-1951), Bishop of Iasi martyred in 1951. Iasi is the most important political, economic and cultural center of the Romanian Moldavian province as well as one of Romania’s oldest cities. The Cathedral is the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Isai.
As usual, during his apostolic journeys, the Pope draws a big crowd. Local officials estimated roughly 100,000 people filled the streets and sidewalks around the cathedral during the Pope’s visit.
The building was dedicated in 2005 and replaced the old Cathedral of St. Mary, which had become too small for the needs of the diocese. The first stone of the sanctuary of the new cathedral was laid in 1990, with work on the structure started in 1992. Although the basic structure was completed in 1998, work continued to finish the interior and exterior decoration for several years.
At the cathedral, the Holy Father spent time in silent prayer. Then, after the prayer, the Pope blessed those present. Before boarding the Popemobile for the Palace of Culture and a meeting with young people and families, Pope Francis silently blessed a marble statue of Christ the Redeemer and a stone that marks the Way of Santiago de Compostela in Romania.
The Holy Father also blessed those present, may elderly or sick:
“I would like to give you all the blessing with my gratitude for being here. Thank you for coming, thank you for being with your sick and thanks to you for carrying out your illness by offering it to the Lord. Now let’s pray together the Madonna, before the blessing.”