Daniil Sihastrul (Romanian for “Daniel the Hesychast“) was a renowned Romanian Orthodox spiritual guide, advisor of Stephen the Great, and hegumen of Voroneț Monastery. Canonized by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992.
Daniil Sihastrul ignited a hermit movement in northern Moldova, having many novices in the woods surrounding Voroneț, as well as at the hermitages and monasteries in its surroundings. He encouraged Stephen the Great to fight for the defense of Christendom and to build holy places.
He has been considered a saint ever since his life time, being credited with healing the sick, exorcising demons, and removing suffering.
On first glance, it appears that St. Daniil was an eccentric loner who spent his life exorcising his mind from all thought in pursuit of purity of spirit for personal enlightenment, as that was apparently the aim of the Hesychasts. On the other hand, he was not a hermit full time, and used his stone temple as a place of refuge and contemplation. Given that he advised military strategist Stephen The Great, Daniil was well respected at the time (late 1400s AD).
Now what did Stephen The Great do? He stopped the Ottoman Empire warlords from overrunning Moldova, killing Christians and others indiscriminately, and from instituting islam and shari’ia law.
St. Stephen defeated Mehmet at a famous and decisive battle in a place called Vaslui (not far south of Iaṣi in the province of Moldova). Had he not done so, little would have stood between Mehmet and the Ukraine—and the obliteration of the rest of the Orthodox world. Mehmet met his match shortly after having sacked Constantinople. With the rest of the Balkan peninsula falling to Islam’s sword, Mehmet must have seemed unstoppable to Christians everywhere, yet none of the Western powers nor the Western Church would lift a finger against the Ottomans. Thus, Stephen stood more or less alone in defense of Christianity and his homeland [via].
Interesting times, indeed.
Oh, and here’s a photo of Deniis hawking his CDs. I’m not an historian, but it amazes me what one may find just by searching for the origin of an image.
[Images found here and via here.]