Metropolitan Iosif ow Western and Southern Europe on Tuesday said that ‘Saint Stephen transfigured this world through prayer, faith, humility, love of his family and nation, which became his family’.
‘In everything he did, he searched for Christ the Lord,’ the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Western and Southern Europe said during the patronal feast of Putna Monastery.
Thousands of believers from all across Romania attended the feast day on Ruler Prince Saint Stephen the Great.
Putna Monastery, originally dedicated to the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, was offered a second patron saint in 2010, the monastery’s holy founder and Moldavia’s Ruler Prince Saint Stephen the Great.
On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, five hierarchs concelebrated at the Divine Liturgy.
‘Here at Putna we are faced with the Lord of Moldova, the Holy Ruler Prince Stephen the Great, who in all his life made the things of Martha and of Mary, who built churches, monasteries, but also palaces and cities, and strengthened the people and the country with visible walls of stone and with unseen, spiritual walls of prayer and of the word of God that was never absent from his mouth.’
‘Stephen became a model for us to follow, for in everything he did he never forgot who is the Door we enter through into the kingdom of God, that is, Christ,’ Metropolitan Iosif said July 2.
‘God placed us in this world to transform it, not to destroy it, so that on everything we place our hand on to become more beautiful, more comprehensible, to make this material world transparent to the presence of God,’ the Metropolitan added.
‘This great voivode remains a light that cannot be hidden under a bowl, a light that has lit up from the True Light. Let us be his followers today, wherever we live,’ he said.
Flowers were laid to the tomb of St Stephen the Great, who is considered the greatest Romanian of all times following a vote conducted by the Romanian Television to determine whom the general public considered the 100 Greatest Romanians.
Photography courtesy of Putna Monastery