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26 June 2015. Holy Father Metropolitan Antim the Iberian

posted Jun 27, 2015, 8:21 AM by Mamao Thoma   [ updated Jun 27, 2015, 8:22 AM ]

Metropolitan Antim was born around year 1650 in Georgia, a country named Iviria by the Romanians. Hence the name of Iberian. Antim's secular name was Andrew. Enslaved by the Turks, Andrew reached Constantinople, being redeemed - probably - by patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem. He was tonsured as monk under the name of Antim. The future metropolitan came into Wallachia at the beginning of the rule of Constantin Brâncoveanu.

In his new country Antim proved to be a prolific printer. In a stretch of 25 years more than 60 titles have appeared in the print shops that he led or established. His books were written in Romanian, Greek, Slavic, Arabic. A large part of these books were written or translated by Antim himself. With these books the Romanian language consolidated even more its rightful place as religious language.

Antim was advancing fast in the Orthodox hierarchy: abbot at Snagov Monastery (around 1696), bishop of Râmnic (1705) and finally metropolitan of Walachia (1708).

In 1716, Nicholas Mavrocordatos (1670 - 1730) forced Antim to retire from his seat of metropolitan. Deposed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Antim was exiled to Sinai Monastery. Antim was killed by the Turkish soldiers who were guarding him on the way toward his forceful exile. His body was thrown into the Tundzha River (a tributary that is emptying into Maritsa River near Adrianople - Edirne).

In 1966 the punishment received by Antim was raised by the Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1992 the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized Antim. Saint Hierarch and Martyr Anthim the Iberian is feasted of 27th of September.

From the name of the Metropolitan came also the name of Antim Cup, a trophy offered to the winner of the rugby matches between the national teams of Romania and Georgia.