Is it safe to join our Pilgrimage to Moldavia?

This is by far the most common question we get regarding our annual Pilgrimage to the Monasteries in Moldavia. Given the nightmare of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the risk that Russia may also invade the Republic of Moldavia is (understandably) making many of our friends worry about their safety. What follows is a simple, but hopefully clear explanation of a very complex and painful pat of the history of Romania. I pray it will help you understand why it is perfectly safe for you to join us on this amazing pilgrimage, despite the war in Ukraine.

Moldavia (or Moldova) is one of the three main historical regions that make up the country of Romania, with Transylvania and Wallachia the other two. Everyone has heard of Transylvania because of Dracula (!). Wallachia is the Southern part of the country, where its capital (Bucharest) is located.

In 1940, Romania was forced to allow half of Modavia to be separated from its territory and incorporated into the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early nineties, the occupied part of Moldavia became the contemporary independent Republic of Moldavia. This is the region which is indeed at risk of destabilisation, but this is not where we are going.

Our pilgrimage takes us to the other half of Moldavia, the half which was not occupied by the Soviets and has remained part of Romania. Romania is a full NATO member since 2004 and a member of the European Union since 2007, which makes it a safe place to live and visit.

May we all see the day when we can say this about all countries of the world.