Saharna Monastery – Bassarabia’s Revealed Paradise!
“The monastery is the tent of heaven, the house of God, the gate of heaven, the place of fulfillment, the heaven on earth and the place where the love of God is displayed ”
Părintele Teofil Părăian (1929 – 2009)
Steps leading you to the founding of the World, that is, closer to God, and your heart to glorify these places of rare beauty and tranquility. So I will describe Saharna Monastery that I have visited several times, and every time, I felt how the peace, the simplicity and the serenity of this place took hold of me. It is a unique feeling that only here, coming to Moldova, you can experience. And me, I wish you, my dear guest, to live and come to Moldova, and visit the wonderful Saharna Monastery!
Sursa foto: Noua Galilee – Word Press.com
Let’s begin our story about… Saharna.
Saharna Monastery, in its entirety, is one of the oldest monastic settlements within the Orthodox Church of the Republic of Moldova. The monastic ensemble consists of two monasteries: one cave (Bunavestire) and another terrestrial (Holy Trinity). The history of the cave monastery is very little known, not knowing the precise date of the foundation and who the founders were. Even researchers in the field have not yet come to a unanimous opinion on the period of the foundation of this quintile. She remains gentle and silent in anticipation of better times, when her tumultuous but also glorious history will be known and praised by all Christian people.
The monastery was founded in 1776 by Schimonahul Vartolomeu Ciungu (1739-1798, Ciungu being not the family name, but only an appellation). There is something about the life of the abbot Vartolomeu from the inscription accompanying his portrait, discovered in the trapeze of the monastery “St. Trinity” Rudi by the architect engineer Nicolae Ţiganco, portrait, which later disappeared without a trace. Here is the inscription, translated from Ukrainian in 1928: “… in 1739 on the 23rd of December the flesh was born, named Vasile, from Father Teodor and Mother Pelagheia. In 1760 on the 2nd of May in the town of Savran the governor of Podolia, being engaged and going to his marriage to marry, Vasile had been unexpectedly injured with a bullet in his left hand, and in 1766 … of May he left, and he came to Moldova. In 1776 in March 25th, he entered Saharna. There was nothing, just a deserted place, with a church, cells, a building, and others. ”
Sursa foto: Moldova Suverana (Manastirea Saharna, inceputul sec XX)
After 1918, the monastery changed its status, becoming “nuns”. When the monastery had this status, Mother Valentina was the abbot, who, due to her provenance, rushed to the community for a long time, being forced to leave Bessarabia and to flee to Romania together with her two grandchildren Who had made novitiate in the monastery. It is believed that in those years the Saharna Monastery was named “Queen Mary” in honor of His Majesty, Queen Maria of Romania. Then, in the position of the upper mother, Egumena Militina was elected, who was also a good leader and chirping of the holy place of Saharne, the proof being the great number of nuns who lived here: about 70.
By the year 1950 the monastery had reached its maximum bloom, being one of the most well-arranged and beautifully decorated monastic places of our country, but not for long, because in 1964, during the Soviet regime, the monastery was closed and transformed into a monastery, A psychiatric hospital. All the abbey and adornments of the monastery are devastated and destroyed without mercy. The monastic cells are arranged as hospital salons, the summer church is turned into a warehouse, and the winter church – in a house of culture. Namely during the time when the monastery was occupied by the hospital, a building was built on the territory, which today fulfills the role of a trapeze for the monks of the holy monastery
The reopening of the monastery took place on April 19, 1991. With the blessing of His Eminence Vladimir CANTAREAN, Metropolitan of Chisinau and of the entire Moldavia, the monastery begins to reestablish, but with certain steps, the missionary and pastoral activity. Simultaneously with the services and prayers twice a day, very few of the living monks worked hard to maintain and raise the ruins and disasters of the monastery that had been defiled for almost three decades. Thus, restoration work is done first in the winter church for the service of daily divine services. This church has no interior painting, and it was not long ago that an annex was built, a small chapel where the relics of St. Macarie’s relics are preserved during the winter. There is also maintenance and beauty work.
Currently, the monks community has 20 people, including 10 sanctified ministers. Religious services are carried out twice a day: in the morning 6.00 – 8.30 and in the evening 17.00 – 19.00, in Romanian and Russian, and in big holidays and in Greek. Every day after the Divine Liturgy – moleben to the scroll with the relics of Saint Macarie. Every Friday – Acatist of Holy Macarie. Saturday, after the Divine Liturgy – The Acatist at the icon of the Holy Mother of God “Potir Nesecat”, who has the gift of God to heal the beings of drunkenness, smoking and drug addiction. On Thursday night, at midnight, the Mystery of the Holy Mask is performed with the prayers of Saint Basil the Great (Exorcisms) for people suffering from unclean (demonic) spirits.
The monastery also serves ecclesiastically the three nearby villages: Saharna, Saharna Noua and Buciuşca. In the monastery baptisms, weddings, sanctifications, panihides (prayers for the deceased) and other celebrations regularly take place.
What else can you visit in Saharna?
Spring with healing water
Sursa foto: Saharna Monastery
Not far from the monastery, parallel to the path leading to the cave monastery, you can find the springs with healing water. This spring was built right next to the place where, as the elders say, it was “Spring of the Vavila” spring, which in winter had very warm water. The water of the “Wonder Spring” today miraculously helps many people, healing mental and bodily illnesses. This is why near the spring a special swimming pool was built. And because it is a spring that brings people healing and great hopes, bathing in it implies some special rules:
Women bathe dressed in long shirts or gowns;
Men bathe in panties or aprons;
The clothing you are bathed in must be new or at least clean;
Because the water is very cold, children and the elderly can only wash their face, hands and feet;
Before coming into the water prayers are spoken: “Our Father …”, “Mother of God the Virgin …”, “Lady Guard …” or others, which you know;
Sinks are overhead by 3, 7, 9, 12 or 40 times.
Saharna Monastery: Hope, Prayers, Healing…
In shouting with the relics of Saint Macarius, many people, praying, receive healings and aids of all kinds. Here both the weaknesses and the troubles of soul and body are healed. All the miracles and healings are done for the glory of the Good God and the Honor of the Holy Macarios. Here are just a few testimonies of people who have known him personally and those who have been helped by him both in life and after falling asleep in the Lord. So Saharna is not just a place but a truly holy, miraculous and healing of any disease.
With love from Moldova,
We are waiting for you at Saharna Monastery!