The name and personality of Elder Cleopa Ilie of Romania is today known not only in his homeland but also throughout the world. Father Cleopa was born in 1912 in the town of Soulitsa and district of Botosani into a pious village family and named Constantine. His parents were called Alexander and Anna and he was the ninth of their ten children. The religious upbringing that he and all his siblings received from childhood as well as their great inclination toward the monastic life were so strong that five of the ten children, along with their mother in her later years, took up the monastic life and were clothed in the monastic Schema.
The first duty Father Cleopa sought from the faithful was the devout preservation of the Orthodox Faith, meaning all of the dogmas and mysteries of the Holy Orthodox Church, for without true Faith, even if all possible good works are performed, no one can be saved.