Valeriu Gafencu – a symbol of Christian life

Mircea Darusi

In the exhibition of the great clergy who experienced the sufferings of communist prisons, only Valerio Gavinko was called the “saint of prisons.” This title was given to Father Nikolai Steinhardt for his high level of spiritual purification. Writer based in Cluj Al. Florin Schein in his autobiographical account, “Don’t Cry for I’m Going by Your Side”, published by Eco Transylvan Publishing House, Cluj-Napoca, 2022. The closing word appears in the most complimenting terms to Elena Buică-Buni. The title is from “Rămas bun,” a poem he uttered as his pure soul ascended to heaven. In fact, all four chapters of the novel bear titles that are part of the poetic work of the young Bessarabian: “A holy child. A holy child is born “,” The scroll of the book is heaven tied in knots “,” Modest and simple idea, light “,” And I left you ashes as a gift. Al’s approach. Fl Ţene builds on a tireless work of literary history that offers us the opportunity to discover harrowing things from a sad period in Romania. The author unleashes his creative imagination, which perfectly harmonizes with the reality he knows through extensive historical-literary documentation, but also from survivors’ narratives. The events take place in a natural atmosphere and in the context of historical events from the middle of the twentieth century. The life story of Valerio Gavinko is written in a catchy style and with a special sensitivity that emanates from the warmth of the heroic spirit of the Fatherland and the people, for the salvation of man through faith. The writer turns us into confronting the past, into a world that is “troubled to the core” and has the ability to evoke places of birth, people and their concerns, traditions and customs before the surrender of Bessarabia, using expressive, dynamic language. Dialogue and accuracy. There’s also idyllic love from Valerio’s high school life. There is something special in the author’s storytelling art, to define in precise strokes the central character he follows from his birth to the end of his life. Valeriu Gafencu was born on January 24, 1921, in Sângerei, Balti, in Bessarabia, being the eldest of the four children of Vasile and Elena. From the early years of his intellectual education, he felt so attracted to the ideals promoted by the youth organization “Frătiție de Cruce” of Iasi, that he became its leader, and was arrested twice, starting in 1941, when he was sentenced to three months, which then turned 25 years of forced labour, accused of the moral and patriotic upbringing he supported. From this moment his life turned into a nightmare, he underwent the most terrible suffering in the prisons of Aoud, Pitesti and Targu Ukna. Young Gavinko was born spiritually here, when he realized, praying fervently, that he would rise above torment, only by accepting his fate as a way to salvation. “He devoted himself to an intense theological reading, and to conducting rigorous research on Orthodox spirituality.” He was an intelligent young man who yearned for perfection through union with Christ, always believing in a pure spiritual life, without compromise and politics. For him, faith was a true institution. He never gave up his effort to encourage others, to do only good for those around him, even to neglect his own person. Seriously ill, malnourished, and untreated, Gavinko gave up his daily food, very little in favor of his colleagues so that they could at least afford their families and children waiting for them at home. He predicted the day of his death two weeks ago, that is, on February 18, 1952. Al. succeed fl. ene has a great talent for bringing out the inner beauty of the one who has consumed himself in the “Prayer of Fire”, for the one who is touched by his simplicity, faith and devotion. Those who knew him (Ewan Eianolide, Virgil Maxim or Maren Nayden and others) say he is gifted with a mysterious power to attract, impress, and enlighten both friends and foes. He was endowed with a rare strength of character, maintaining his integrity in all circumstances, even in front of guards or prison leaders. The messages he sent home, addressed to his mother and sisters, are impressive, and true advice for learning, believing, and loving. Despite all the suffering he endured, he was still satisfied: “I am glad, because if my bodily freedom is restricted by the laws of man, then spiritual freedom has been given by the sacrament of love, and this spiritual freedom is the most precious good.” This world full of illusions “…the fact that I came to understand and live the Christian soul itself, made me feel so good, as if I had just woken up from a grave.” The book also includes a selection of texts by the poet, an autobiography, and testament poems that he composed in prison, without paper or pencil, just memorizing them. Through this book, as through the seven most of the genre written so far, the writer S. became a fl. ene is increasingly known and respected in the literary world, as a worthy and innovative successor to the autobiographical novel.

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