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50 lei 2007 - 350 years since the death of Varlaam, metropolitan of Moldavia
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30 mm diameter, 16.5 g, 92.5% silver, flat edge
year 2007, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue denomination "50 LEI"
effigy of Varlaam, years 1657 and 2007, inscription MITROPOLITUL VARLAAM meaning "METROPOLITAN VARLAAM"

About metropolitan Varlaam

Born in a yeoman family, Varlaam was monk and later abbot at Secu Monastery. In 1632 he became metropolitan of Moldavia. In 1653, during the turmoil ended with the dethroning of the ruler of Moldavia Vasile Lupu, Varlaam retreated at Secu Monastery. The Moldavian chronicler Miron Costin mentioned Varlaam's retreat: "From here, as usual, went Ștefan Gheorghie the logothete with some country crowds to the church of Saint Nicholas and Ghedeon the bishop of Huși read him the reign prayer, the metropolitan Varlaam having moved to the mountain, at Secu Monastery.".

In 1643 Varlaam printed at Iași, capital of Moldavia, "Cartea românească de învățătură", Romanian Book of Teaching, also known as Cazanie (the word cazanie meaning sermon or homily), containing 74 homilies translated from Slavonic.

The printing house of Iași was established with the help of Petru Movilă, metropolitan of Kiev. The print shop was installed at the Three Hierarchs monastery, established by Vasile Lupu.

The Homiliarium of Varlaam, the very first book printed in Moldavia, was published in a large number of copies and was spread - manuscript copies included - in all regions inhabited by Romanians. The book influenced greatly the Romanian language and spirit.

In 2007 the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized Varlaam. The Saint Hierarch Varlaam, metropolitan of Moldavia, is feasted on August 30th.


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