How amiable are thy dwellings, thou Lord of hosts! My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God… Blessed are they that dwell in thy house; they will be always praising thee.
This is the feeling when, led by love for God we open the door of this spiritual sanctuary in which the monastic life has been revived again, under the protection of the Great Martyr St. George the Triumphant. As if some mysterious garden opens in front of you; a new, different world that fulfills you with grace, a small piece of paradise left here in order to awaken in our hearts a yearning for God and for the eternal joy in our heavenly homeland.
A small piece of paradise left here in order to awaken in our hearts a yearning for God and for the eternal joy in our heavenly homeland.
This impressive monastery was completely restored by the great effort and commitment of the Abbot of the Holy Bigorski Monastery, Archimandrite Parthenius. With an immense respect for the Victorious One, he, along with his brothers in Christ, not only built it from its foundations but also spiritually revived this holy home. Namely, in the period after the Second World War, the monastery of Saint George was completely neglected, and with just few rooms left of the once impressive monastic hospices, fell into oblivion and decay. However, the great wish and the strong faith of Archimandrite Parthenius were not left fruitless. By God’s mercy, the preparations for the revival started back in the summer of 1999 and on the very day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in 1999, in the presence of Metropolitan Timothy the foundations of the new monastery hospices were consecrated and more than a year later they raised as a phoenix on the grounds of the old monastery complex. So, on 4 June 2001 the monastery was sanctified and since then it exists as an active convent under the spiritual guidance of the Bigorski monastery.
In the past, this metochion dedicated to Saint George functioned as an economic facility of the Bigorski monastery. It used to be very rich in land and had huge monastery property, fields and vineyards. Many of the products necessary for the survival of the Bigorski monastery were produced here. During the years of the hard and turbulent Macedonian history it had been attacked for several times and destroyed completely, but the care of the Bigorski Monastery Abbots constantly revived and maintained this metochion. Perhaps the most deserving donor responsible for its renovation in the more distant past is Abbot Arsenius (1807-1839), and under his guidance the present church was build in 1835 on the grounds of an even older church from the 16th century. The church is abundantly painted with frescoes, made by the hands of the hieromonk Daniel and his father Michael as well as by Dicho Zograph – all of them renown icon painters from the XIX century. The fresco painting is completely preserved and is an important part of the immense treasury of the cultural and historical heritage of Macedonian people.
In the restored monastic building for the first time, a chapel dedicated to the Saints John Kukuzelis, Gregory Palamas and Nectarius of Bitola was build. The frescoes in the chapel which are in Byzantine style, made according to those in the church of the Holy Mother – Perivleptos in Ohrid, were completed in 2005. Then a sanctification followed, performed by Metropolitan Timothy which, by God’s providence happened exactly on the day dedicated to Saint Gregory Palamas, on the second Sunday of the Great Lent. Every year this day is celebrated traditionally, with an all-night vigil.
The sisterhood in the monastery lives according to a Typikon established by the Abbot, Fr. Parthenius, according to the one in the Mount Athos monasteries. This Typikon i.e. way of living provides for a full liturgical life with regular Liturgies, Matins, Vespers, and all-night vigils on weekends and on holidays.
A really rare craft which is the main occupation of the sisters is cherished here, and that’s the making of episcopal mitres.
In the course of their everyday duties and chores, a really rare craft which is the main occupation of the sisters is cherished here, and that’s the production of episcopal mitres. It is a really noble and graceful work, accompanied by prayer, while working on the mitres, and as a fruit of the obedience towards the Elder, really wonderful and unique masterpieces are created here by the hands of the sisters. These amazing works of art are an integral part of the vestments of the Patriarchs, such as the Patriarch of Constantinople, and many orthodox bishops. Beside this, the sisters are also involved in the making of icons, Holy Mount incense, homemade beverages and natural essential oil soaps. Recently they have been actively working on resolving problems regarding specific social cases, particularly of young people, who are being particularly endangered by the vices and passions of this world.
Particular testimony of God’s overwhelming mercy and the mighty interceding of the glorious monastery Patron is the presence of the relics of S. George, or rather a particle of his hand, which miraculously arrived in this sanctuary a few years ago and is a great blessing for our orthodox nation. Beside this, here you can also venerate the relics of St. John Kukuzelis, St. Martyr Emilian, St. John of Russia, St. Great Martyrs Barbara and Catherine, as well as a particle of the Honorable Cross.
Since the monastery is open to visitors, it’s constantly been visited by guests, faithful and tourists who find strong spiritual support and peace in this sanctuary.