Saint Sophronius, Confessor of Ciorara, Romania

Saint Sophronius was originally from Ciorara-Sebesh in Alba county in Romania. From his childhood, he demonstrated a great love for Christ and the Church, so it was not surprising that he eventually received the monastic tonsure.

He returned to his village in 1756, and established a small hermitage called Cioara Skete in the forest. Several disciples came to join him there, drawn by reports of his holy life. Seeing the persecution of the Orthodox by the Catholic authorities at that time, Saint Sophronius traveled through many villages of Ardeal, encouraging people to remain firm in the Orthodox Faith.

Saint Sophronius was so effective in his preaching that the Crai of Ardeal ordered him thrown into prison, where he was beaten. After his release from prison, he went to preach in the villages of the Apuseni Mountains, and once again he was incarcerated and tortured for Christ.

After being freed on February 14, 1761, Saint Sophronius assembled a great crowd of people in the city of Alba Iulia, and demanded equal rights under the law for Romanians. He also demanded an Orthodox bishop for Ardeal. That very year his demands were granted, and he retired to the Curtea de Argesh Monastery. He departed to the Lord not long afterward.

The Orthodox Church of Romania numbered Saint Sophronius among the saints in 1955, appointing October 21 as the date of his annual commemoration.