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BY GABRIEL CREȚU ION CREANGĂ SCHOOL, IAȘI, ROMANIA
This Miniature from the Gospel at Humor Monastery is the best portrait of the ruler.
<ul><li>A remarkable army commander and politician, he sought to strengthen princely authority, to organize and bring about prosperity for Moldavia and to fight for its independence against foreign invasions. As the legend has it, he ruled for 47 years, led 47 battles, mainly against the Turks; he built, rebuilt or patronized about the same number of fortresses, churches and monasteries, which won him the acclaim of Pope Sixtus IV as the “Athlete of Christ” . </li></ul>
<ul><li>It is said that he built 44 churches and monasteries, </li></ul><ul><li>one for each battle that he won (44 out of a total of 48). </li></ul>Here is Putna Monastery ; the Church was dedicated to Virgin Mary and was made between 10 July 1466 and 3 September 1469 . Here is the Voroneț monastery ; the Church was dedicated t o St. George and was made between 26 May and 14 September 1488 . Here is the church of St. Nicholas from Iași; it was made between June 1491 and 1492. Here is the Dobrovăț monastery; the Church was dedicated to Holy Spirit Descent and was made between 1503 and 1504 . Here is the Hârlău monastery; the church is dedicated to St. George and was made between 30 May and 28 October 1492
<ul><li>He is considered a defender of the faith, of the Church and of the whole of Christianity. </li></ul><ul><li>For this raisons, the Pope Sixtus IV has got him the title Athleta Christi (Champion of Christ) </li></ul>In 1992, the Sinodic Council of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided to canonize Stephen. Stephen is called " Saint Voivode Stephen the Great ". His feast day in the Romanian Orthodox calendar is July 2, the day of his death.
Seal with coat of arm of Moldavia Battle flag with Saint George enthroned, trampling a dragon.
<ul><li>Here is the statue of Stephen the Great in Iasi. </li></ul>Here is the statue of Stephen the Great in Chisinau.