Moldavia, or Stephen III (c. 1433 – July 2, 1504), also known as Stephen the Great (Romanian: Ştefan cel Mare; Ştefan cel Mare si Sfânt, “Stephen the Great and Holy” in more modern versions) was Prince of Moldavia between 1457 and 1504, and the most prominent representative of the House of Muşat.
During his reign, he turned Moldavia into a strong state and maintained its independence against the ambitions of Hungary, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire, which all sought to subdue the land. Stephen achieved fame in Europe for his long resistance against the Ottomans. He was by his own account victorious in thirty-four of his thirty-six battles and was one of the first to win a decisive victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Vaslui, after which Pope Sixtus IV deemed him verus christianae fidei athlete (true Champion of Christian Faith).
He was a man of faith who displayed his piety when he paid the debt of Mount Athos to the Ottoman Sultan, ensuring the continuity of Athos as an autonomous monastic community.
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from these things; aim at and pursue righteousness [true goodness, moral conformity to the character of God], godliness [the fear of God], faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil]; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and [for which] you made the good confession [of faith] in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12 AMP