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 2nd of July would become a national commemoration day dedicated to the saint.
“Romanians have laws to celebrate Tudor Vladimirescu, Avram Iancu and other national heroes, but they do not have a law to celebrate Stephen the Great! The Prince of Moldavia deserves a celebration day established by law since he is OUR ONE AND ONLY Stephen the Great,” wrote on Facebook the bill’s author, Oana Bulai, Neamț county representative in the Chamber of Deputies.
The bill proposes to hold cultural and academic events annually on July 2 with support from the central and local administration.
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.
The arguments offered in the bill are the saint’s accomplishments: his military and political deeds marked the whole of Europe, while his cultural patronage marked Romania’s cultural and spiritual heritage.
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.
Photo credit: Informatii-Romania.ro (the statue of Stephen the Great from Podul Înalt, in the county of Vaslui)