Dracula's religion and churches
Religious? Orthodox? Or simply having faith?
If you ask a Snagov or Comana monk about Vlad the Impaler they proudly tell you Vlad Dracula's religion was orthodox but he was also a great Christian because he fought against Ottomans invasion.
Well, I think his fight wasn't a Christian crusade. He simply wanted the freedom of his country. He knew how bad could be under Turks administration and the high price Romanian people had to pay: not only money and products, but also innocent lives of their children taken into slavery. But the Christian cause was a good reason to ask for Hungarian help.
He paid large contributions for Snagov and Comana monasteries maintenance and reinforcement. But this was a military reason, part of the defence plan of Wallachia. He saw the defending potential of the two surrounded by water monasteries.
He built a church in Targusor. But I don't think the reason was to thank God. It was in the memory of his father and brother who brutally died there.
But what was Dracula's religion?
Also, there is no record about his Orthodox affiliation. Many people think if he was Romanian he was Orthodox. My thoughts are he was a Catholic in fact. Strange but very possible. Why? His father was Catholic. There is no other way to be part of the Order of the Dragon. This Order purpose was to fight against Christian heresies (not only Islam) and Orthodox church it was considered an heresy by Catholics of those time.
But by tradition the child has the mother religion. Supposing his mother was a Transylvanian noble woman there is no doubt he was Catholic. Orthodox faith was not compatible with nobles in Transylvania of those times.
What if his mother was a Moldavian princess? Is pretty much alike she was Orthodox. But once again, there are no records about and many Moldavian nobles were Catholics. More, I can't see an Orthodox mother christening her son in a Catholic church.
But then, where did the christening of little Vlad find place? In Sighisoara of 15th century there weren't Orthodox churches. (Romanian peasants were forbidden even to walk inside the fortress.) Maybe outside the fortress, in the poor Romanian suburb there was a little one. But can you see a member of town's elite noblemen christening his son in the suburb, especially when he needed those noblemen's trust and support to reach for the Wallachian throne?
More! People say (assuming he was an Orthodox) that he converted to Catholicism for his second marriage. But in such an event (an Orthodox ruler converted) the fact must be recorded for the posterity. Do you think that a good catholic as Antonio Bonfini (an Italian humanist and historian of Mathias Corvin's court) could miss such an event when he wrote about Vlad's wedding with Mathias' cousin?
Well, there is no proof in what I'm saying. These are only my own questions, thoughts and suppositions. And my conclusion is that doesn't matter if Dracula's religion was Orthodox or Catholic, because he wasn't a very religious person. You know, the kind that goes to church, confess his sins and asks for forgiveness. But I think he was a faithful person. I think he strongly believed that God sustains his fight against the Ottomans, otherwise the peasants would have never followed him.
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