Bucharest, August 14, 2018
The beloved Romanian saint and hero Stephen the Great was at the center of a recent blessing celebrated by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania.
In a service in the chapel of the Great Martyr George in the patriarchal residence yesterday, the patriarch blessed the reconstructed crown of the 15th-century Romanian ruler, whom His Beatitude called “a symbol of the faith, unity, and dignity of the Romanian people,” reports the site of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
In his homily on the occasion, Pat. Daniel emphasized St. Stephen’s great contribution to defending Christendom, saying, “St. Stephen the Great was not only the defender of Moldova, but of all Christendom. As he said in 1475, ‘If Moldova falls, this gate of Christendom, all of Christendom will be in danger.’” This was the great ruler’s warning to the Western Powers of the coming revenge of the Sultan, “the infidel Emperor of the Turks, who is the destroyer of all Christendom.”
As the patriarch explained, St. Stephen’s bold and steadfast stand against the infidel Turks earned him the reputation of an “athlete of the faith and of Christ.”
The shape, proportions, and materials used to reconstruct the crown were chosen according to images from his lifetime in which St. Stephen appears crowned, including the Tetraevanghel Gospel of 1473, and Voroneţ votive painting from 1488. The crown was made in Bucharest in consultation with reputable historians and specialists in heraldry and medieval Romanian art.
The crown will be placed on the grave of St. Stephen at Putna Monastery today, opening the events celebrating the history of the monastery.
The crown will be permanently exhibited in the Putna Monastery museum along with the sword (replica), cross (1503), censer (1470), ripida (1497) and other objects belonging to St. Stephen the Great donated to the monastery. The crown will be placed on the great saint’s tomb twice annually: July 2, the day of St. Stephen repose, and December 1, the National Day of Romania.
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