Roman (Braga)

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Archimandrite Roman (Braga) was an archimandrite in the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America.

Biographical Timeline

  • 1922 Apr 2: Born in Condrita, Bessarabia; seventh and last child of Cosma and Maria Braga. Raised by devout Orthodox mother, near Monastery of Condrita.
  • 1929: Entered grade school in his village at age of 7.
  • 1934: Sent to Caldarusani Monastery near Bucharest at 12, then moved to monastic seminary of Cernica (also near Bucharest). Formed life-long friendships with great future spiritual fathers of Romania - including Frs Sofian Boghiu, Felix Dubneac, Benedict Ghius, Grigore Babus, and Gratian Radu. Some he would be in prison with together, and some he would meet with in the United States.
  • 1942: Returned to Bessarabia to Chisinau Seminary.
  • 1943: Enrolled in parallel at the Theological Institute, The School of Letters and Philosophy and the Pedagogic Institute in Bucharest.
  • 1947: Graduated with Magna cum Laude from the Theological Institute. Received certificate of professor of Romanian Language and Theology.
  • 1948: Entered the doctoral program at the Institute of Theology in Bucharest.
  • 1948 Summer: Arrested and spent year in interrogation, accused of belonging to anti-Semitic movement. Detailed in Bucharest at Jilava prison, then sent to solitary confinement in Pitesti where the brainwashing experiments took place.
  • 1951: Sent to labor camp in the Danube Delta
  • 1953 Summer: Released under parole. Moved to Iasi where his sister, Mother Benedicta, was a nun.
  • 1954 Jan: Tonsured a monk. A week later, ordained a deacon in the Iasi Metropolia. Served until 1959 - under surveillance by the Secrete Services - by serving daily at the Metropolia, singing in the choir, conducting the choir, conducting theological sessions with students of the Medical School and other universities, discussing the Prayer of the Heart and interpreting the Philokalia.
  • 1959: Arrested again, spent another year under interrogation. Accused of having been part of the Burning Bush movement, with 15 others, and sentenced to 18 years of forced labour.
  • 1959-64: Spent time in various concentration camps in the Danube Delta.
  • 1964: Under pressure from the West, the Amnesty General decree was issued and all political prisoners - including Fr Roman - were freed. Ordained a priest at the Episcopate of Oradea.
  • 1965 Jan 1: Installed as priest in a northern Romanian village, where he organised a choir of 100 children and a Sunday School. The authorities moved him to another parish.
  • 1968: Considered an unwanted element by the Communist government, the Patriarchate sent him to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 1972: Invited by Abp Valerian (ROEA) to come to the United States. For next five years, translated Romanian church music into English, active in religious education program for children, belonging to the committee that translated Romanian religious texts into English, and substituting in different parishes across the United States and Canada.
  • 1979: Assigned parish priest at Holy Trinity Church, Youngstown, Ohio
  • 1982: Assigned to St George Cathedral in Southfield, Michigan.
  • 1983-88: Assigned priest and spiritual father to the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Pennsylvania.
  • 1988: Retired to Monastery of the Dormition, Michigan, never missing a service until the last two years of his life, and awaking at 2am for his prayer rule.
  • 2015 Mar 17: Awarded the Order of St Romanos in recognition for his outstanding contribution in the field of liturgical music during the Spring Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops. Presented by Abp Nathaniel on March 25, 2015.
  • 2015 April 28: Reposed.


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