NICOLAE STEINHARDT - A Jew who became a prist

By ©Inacio Steinhardt

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Yes, we had a priest in the "family".

He was not the only Jew to convert to Christianity, and not the only one to become a priest.

AharonLustiger, now Jean Marie Lustiger, the Archebishop of Paris, whose name has been indicated several times as a candidate for the Popery, is an example. Father Daniel Rufeisen, a Polish Jew, who died here in Israel, in Haifa, as a Carmelite priest is another. And I could mention several others.

Provided that they do it out of sincere religious belief and not for material interests, I respect their attitude.

Father Nicolae (Nico) Steinhardt, was born in a Jewish assimilated family, in Pantelimon, near Bucarest, Romania, in 1912.  He died in 1989. I understand that he has Jewish relatives in Israel, eventually a sister, but I don't know their names or where they live.

His uncompromising loyalty to his literary friends and to traditional Romanian culture caused him to be sentenced to 6 1/2 years of hard labor in communist prisons. Shortly after he began his life in prison, his long-time attraction to Christianity crystallized in the decision to be clandestinely baptized Orthodox. For the last nine years of his life, he lived as a monk in Rohia Monastery, where his literary gifts continued to bear fruit. He died before the "Revolution", and his autobiographic "Jurnalul Fericirii" (The Journal of Joy) was published posthumously, as was the collection of his sermons. I have bought it and I appreciate his philosophic thoughts.  

Here are some of his other books:



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