Patriarch of Romania blesses St Stephen the Great’s crown replica

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania blessed Monday, August 13, a replica of the crown of Ruler Prince Saint Stephen the Great, whom His Beatitude called ‘a symbol of the faith, unity, and dignity of the Romanian people’.

In his speech, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church pointed to the extraordinary contribution Saint Stephen the Great had in defending Christendom.

“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.’”

The patriarch also spoke about St Stephen’s bravery in defending Christian faith from Turkish threat, which brought him the surname of ‘athlete of the faith and of Christ’.

Saint Stephen the Great’s crown replica. Photo: ZL

The service was officiated at the St George Chapel of the patriarchal residence in Bucharest in the attendance of Archimandrite Melchisedec Velnic, abbot of Putna Monastery.

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 was made in Bucharest in consultation with “reputed historians and specialists in heraldry and Romanian medieval art”.

Voroneţ votive painting (1488) depicting Ruler Prince Saint Stephen the Great embraced by St George presenting Christ the Lord with the monastery he founded. Foto credit: Mănăstirea Voroneţ

The crown was placed on the grave of St. Stephen at Putna Monastery, opening the events celebrating the patronal feast of the monastery, the Dormition of the Theotokos.

The crown will be permanently exhibited in the Putna Monastery museum along with the sword (replica), cross (1503), censer (1470), exapteriga (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’s repose, and December 1, the National Day of Romania.

Photos: Mihnea Păduraru/ZL

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