Brochure combating Old Calendarist ideas Romania



Brochure combating Old Calendarist ideas Romania
Broșură ce combate ideile vechi calendariste România


These four images are part of a brochure written in or around 1936 by Grigore Spiru, a well known Romanian journalist of the interwar period. The brochure, whose main characters are Glicherie Tănase and his alleged mistress, Maria Gârleanu, was meant to combat Old Calendarist ideas and to portray the Stilists (referring to "old style"), as Old Calendarists were referred to, in a negative manner.
The first picture depicts the cover of the brochure, entitled “The Rasputin of Moldova. Glicherie, the holy devil and the Stilist bishop”, as well as a caricature of Glicherie. The comparison with the famous Rasputin was not coincidental and it mainly referred to Glicherie’s power of attracting large crowds of peasants, many of whom were women. The text also calls him “the black monk” and it makes references to the activities that were supposedly happening in various Old Calendarist churches, such as orgies, fake miracles and the use of real blood during the Eucharist.
The second picture can be found on the inside of the brochure and it depicts a caricature of Glicherie, as well as the title “The childhood and…monasticism of Glicherie”. The caricature itself, as well as the term bishop written between quotation marks, are meant to mock Glicherie’s status amongst the Old Calendarists. The text goes on to describe Glicherie’s childhood in a very different manner from the way that it is recorded by the Old Calendarist church, portraying him as a charlatan from a very young age and motivated in his choice of the monastic path by financial reasons.
The third picture can also be found on the inside of the brochure and it depicts a caricature of Maria Gârleanu. She was often described as the mistress of Glicherie Tănase, as well as his accomplice, especially in Glicherie’s attempts to stage various miracles in order to impress the peasants. In the brochure, Spiru depicts Maria Gârleanu as an adventurous woman, fascinated by various monastic figures, especially by Rasputin, whom Glicherie is said to have resembled.
The forth picture depicts a caricature of Glicherie holding a bottle of alcohol, pointing to the Old Calendarists’ alleged immoral behaviour. Spiru goes on to describe how the Old Calendarist priests received gifts from naïve believers whilst spending their time drinking alcohol and luring young women.
The brochure, which appeared in 1936, was meant to combat the Old Calendarist ideas and was part of a narrative that was encouraged and propagated by the Orthodox Church. Even if these sensationalist stories were exaggerated in order to compromise the image of the movement in front of the general public, one thing that stands out is the important role played by women within the Old Calendarist church. The genuine presence of women at the heart of the movement gave the Orthodox Church and other critics ammunition that they used against the Old Calendarists.

These images, along with the brochure, can be found in the file CNSAS, D 013408, vol. 1. Apart from this brochure, it contains police reports, lists of names and newspaper articles that refer to the so-called Stilist rebellions from 1935- 1936.

For further readings see:
”Isprăvile lui Glicherie episcopul stiliștilor” in Universul, No. 257, September 17, 1936.

For related entries see:


Religion and State--Europe
Religion -- History -- 20th century
Religion and Politics-- Europe
Secret police (secret service)
Romania. Siguranța
Communism and Christianity--Europe, Eastern
Communism and religion
Communism--Europe, Eastern--History--20th century
Material culture--Religious aspects
Religious groups


Iuliana Cindrea


Consiliul Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității
CNSAS, D 013408, Vol.1


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme No . 677355




Copyright for these images belongs to CNSAS
Consiliul Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității


Image/ jpg






CNSAS, D 013408, Vol.1


20th Century, Romania

Bibliographic Citation

Iuliana Cindrea, "Brochure combating Old Calendarist ideas Romania"

Date Created