IX, 2013, 1

The Consequences of the 410/1959 Decree Regarding Monastic Life on the Monasteries from the Suceava Region | p. 341–366

anti-monastic law, communism, Decree 410/1959, monasticism, Suceava



On October 28, 1959, the Presidium of the Great National Assembly issued Decree 410 about monasticism. The author presents the general situation of the monasteries from the Suceava Region before and after the Decree, based on reports and notes of the Ministry of Religious Denominations and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Due to the Decree most of the monks and nuns younger than 55, respectively 50, were taken out of the monasteries and the youth were prevented, with very few exceptions, to join the monastic life for the next 30 years. Thus at the time of the fall of Communism most of the monastics were old and very old. From the spiritual point of view, the effect was the weakening of the bond of spiritual birth between an elder and a novice, for even though there were plenty spiritual fathers, the novices were missing. The situation reversed in the last decade of the 20th century, when there were plenty novices, several thousands having been joining the monastic life after the fall of Communism, but the spiritual fathers started to be missing, by reason of their going, with the age, to the Lord. Thus, Decree 410 from 1959 affected the entire monastic life in the past 50 years, with great consequences at this very moment.