The First Prior Father Protos, Gherontie Puiu


The personality, which prevails in the consciousness of those who visited the Caraiman Monastery was undoubtedly the first prior father Gherontie Puiu.

From the first day of his coming into the world, the priest Gherontie was constantly under the protection of Virgin Mary, who has chosen him, he says, to accomplish a holy mission, namely: building a monastery far away from human vanity. His entire destiny resembles a martyrdom, unshakeable faith and prayer helped him to accomplish goodness as a mediator between Christians in need and Virgin Mary.

Originating from Todireşti, Iaşi district, father Gherontie was abandoned at birth and raised by an adoptive family. He entered the monastic life as a brother of the monastery at the urging of the Prior Pîslaru from the Monastery Neamţ.

Unfortunately the times and the anti Christian policy prevented the young brother from being received among the monks. In 1959 arrives the decree of chasing monks from monasteries. The ancient settlements and the little known ones were simply abolished, historic monasteries, like Neamţu, were kept, but were compelled to visibly shrink their congregation, dispelling all young brothers, who had to be send to work in the big cities, in order to spread without any trace. For father Gheronie began the ordeal, which would last for three decades.

After an attempt to escape, Gherontie Puiu was charged with escape attempts and assaulting the police officers. After a trial he is sentenced to 15 years of hard labour and he gets to an extermination camp, Periprava camp. When he finally escapes from this ordeal, he starts living a hermit life in a cave from the Bucegi mountains. Then as a sign of gratitude for his help from God, Gherontie Puiu promises that he will build a monastery with the patron of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, from whose courtyard can be viewed the Grand Cross from the Caraiman peak, he has been looking at for 10 years.

In this pious calling, deepened in prayer and fasting, finds him the changing of times in late 1989s. The collapse of the atheist regime allowed him to return to Neamţ Monastery. Here, priest Gherontie was ordained hierodeacon, but he only stayed a week in this ministry after which he was ordained priest.

The hieromonk Gherontie Puiu served 40 Holy Liturgies at Neamţ Monastery, as it is accustomed for a newly ordained priest. After having finished serving 40 Holy Liturgies, he was send to serve at Baiceni, a small hermitage, where only a few monks lived faithfully. Here the priest took care of the church services and activities within the household hermitage. He planted trees, put vineyard, renovated the hermitage and he ceaseless praised God’s name.

His wish to build a monastery at the foot of Caraiman mountain keeps prevailing. Thus, in year 2000, father Gherontie Puiu starts the construction activities for the monastery having as patron the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, from the foot of the Caraiman massif.

The wooden church is built first having the patron “Virgin Mary’s Shelter”, on a solid stone foundation, with a tin roof having the specific form of traditional wooden church architecture. The big bulwark church, built between 2002-2007 is a building with a plan type vessel, with three absidioles easily unhooked. It has got a tower on the nave and two on the ante-temple, the entrance is made through a porch supported by eight columns.

Starting with the 10th of July 2010, father Gherontie Puiu is changed from the position of abbot due to health concerns, which were quite serious and he could no longer afford to take care of all the work and activities, which were carried out at that time at the monastery.

Thus, David Petrovici was appointed abbot at the Caraiman Monastery as Protos priest. He came from the Crasna-Prahova Monastery in order to help father Gherontie Puiu to carry out the construction of the monastery.

In May 2014, the monastery is going through a tough time because father Protos, Gherontie Puiu, proabbot of the Caraiman Monastery was called to God, at the age of 81, leaving behind a beautiful monastery and a parish, which will carry on the work begun.

« back
Accommodation and Meals for the Believers
Caraiman Monastery has 100 beds, divided into three buildings. Each room has its own bathroom.details
Conferences and Trainings
The Social Pastoral Center “Holy Cross” from Caraiman Monastery in town
Buşteni has a capacity of 102 places to sleep in 44 rooms with two bedsdetails
Helping the construction of the monastery