Bucharest, Romania, October 13, 2021
A bill submitted to the Romanian Senate last month proposes to declare the 15th-16th century leader St. Stephen the Great as a national hero and patron of Romanian culture.
The bill would also establish July 2 as a national day dedicated to the saint, reports the Basilica News Agency.
St. Stephen reposed in the Lord on July 2, 1504. He was canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992, with his feast on July 2.
Romania celebrates other national heroes by law, but not St. Stephen the Great, noted the initiator of the bill, Deputy Oana Bulai of Neamț. “The ruler of Moldova must have a day recognized by law, because there is only ONE Stephen the Great for us, Romanians!”
St. Stephen played a remarkable role in the history of the Romanian people and the preservation of the Romanian Orthodox Christian identity, the draft law emphasizes, lauding his great administrative, diplomatic, and military skills.
The bill proposes to hold cultural and academic events annually on July 2 with support from federal and local administrations.
The draft law was submitted to the Senate for debate on September 15. On September 21, it was sent for opinion to the Economic and Social Council, the Legislative Council, and the Cabinet of Ministers.
In July, the Orthodox Metropolia of Chișinău and All Moldova held its 18th annual cross procession in honor of St. Stephen the Great.