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The Ensemble of the Church of „Holy Voivodes”, ȘtefăneștiCod 1688

The ensemble of the church of “Holy Voivodes” in Ştefăneşti was built in 1818 and being registered in the list of historical monuments in Olt county. The sanctuary is built by Constantine Buzescu. The most important changes brought to the building were made in 1899 when it was renovated, in 1945 when were brought reinforcements to the roof and restored the painting and in 1996 when the painting was again renovated and reinforced.
Saints Archangels Michael and Gabriel are celebrated every year on November 8. The Holy Archangels are the “saints with swords” that take care of the people’s souls when they die to lead them in the next world, heaven or hell, depending on the part of every human life. It is said that in mountainous areas, the two saints are seen as protectors of sheep. The owners of the sheep make on this day a large cake of cornmeal called Arieta’s cake. On the morning of November 8 the cake is thrown up into sheep’s stable. If the cake falls face up it is said to be a good sign of joy among shepherds, considering that all the sheep will have lambs, and if the cake falls face down is great anger is a sign of poverty, of infertility.
Since ancient times it is said that the Archangel Gabriel is perceived as the protector of mothers, virgins, infants and children, being the one who told the Virgin Mary that will give birth to child, Jesus Chris. He also is the one who masters the plague together with Saint Haralambos.
According to a legend, Michael would have initially been a simple man married to a beautiful girl named Stancuța. After marriage the girl turned into a bad woman, and for the patience that Michael had with her, God made him a saint.
When a man’s life is in turn, it is said that, Archangel Michael makes its appearance at the bedside of the ailing and sits at his head if it is doomed to death, or at his feet if he has to live. If the man gives his last breath, Archangel Michael sits on the right of the dying being in a constant battle with the devil that sits to the left to take the man’s soul to hell. Archangel cuts the devil’s head off with his sword and the blood spreads throughout the whole room, that is why, after a death, the room, where the man has breathed his last, is being painted.
St. Michael is traditionally seen as a warrior angel, in constant battle with devils. St. Michael fights against demons whenever they try to steal the celestial stars the Moon and the Sun occasion for the eclipses to take place. Also Archangel Michael struggles with Scaraoțchi’s wife, called Mamareaua, which he impedes from throwing frost over people. For this reason as we all know this day is called among the people also “the summer of Archangels”, announcing the transition from one season to another, from one state to another, from warm and beautiful weather to rainy and dreary weather.

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