The volume “Bigorski Monastery. 20 Years Jubilee of Revived Monasticism” in digital version

Dear friends,

We inform you that recently we published on our website the English version of the volume “Bigorski Monastery. 20 Years Jubilee of Revived Monasticism” – a large work in which you can read more about the Monastery, its history, the revival, the monastic fraternity and its mission, the monasticism itself, the worship… The texts are accompanied by a great number of images, many of them historical, which enrich the picture about the Monastery. The book can be found in the Menu “Monastery”, at the homepage. As you open the menu, in the lower part you will see the choice “Monograph”, which opens the page with the book cover. If you click on it, the download of the PDF file will start automatically. The size of the book is 41,5 MB.

Otherwise, you can download it from here.

The foreword to the volume, by our Elder and Abbot, Archimandrite Parthenius:

The Bigorski Monastery represents a great and significant part of our spiritual history. In fact, this history could not be imagined without this Sanctuary, which has always been a source of graceful and spiritual strength for the faithful Macedonian nation. Furthermore, in the glorious period of the Rebirth in the XIX century, Bigorski was even more than that, it was the heart of our nation, a zealous guardian of the Cyril and Methodius’ Slavic tradition. But the unfavourable winds of the historic circumstances in the XX century gradually scattered the spiritual fruit that had been collected for centuries before, and the cold winter of communism brought spiritual desolation. So the Monastery became a silent cultural-historical monument; the monasticism, on the other hand, was referred to as something terminated, ancient and long gone.

However, our Most Kind Lord by His immense mercy and by the prayerful intercession of St. John the Baptist, wanted to resurrect again this Sanctuary of ours, so He brought us, the unworthy and humble monks, and grafted us on the roots of the previous rich monastic tradition. In a short period time, the Bigorski Monastery with its revived fraternity, became once again a powerful spiritual beacon, a true spring of Orthodox spirituality. Here even the common visitor cannot stay indifferent to the grace that can be felt in the air, because of the prayers of generations and generations of monks, who have consecrated this place, but also because of the present feats and efforts of the new Synod. Here the faithful have found a spiritually inspiring well of grace where they draw the much needed graceful strength for their personal spiritual feat in this world of various temptations, in this modern atheistic time. Our humble monastic Synodia, which is an offspring and fruit of the repentance of this nation, following humbly the path of obedience and love for the sake of Christ, slowly took its essential place in the revival of the spiritual life of this Church. Thus, strengthened by the prayers and protection of its great Patron Saint, this centuries-old Sanctuary of ours with its Synodia has become an example to follow and an agent of a new spiritual rebirth, especially now, when we need it more than ever. So seeing now the first results of this rebirth, we remember with great zeal the words of Christ, expressed in the Gospel: I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I if it is already kindled? (Luke 12, 49) Similarly, inspired by the same wish, we place our prayerful hopes before the Most Merciful God, with the firm belief that He would continue to kindle in us the eagerness to testify the Evangelic truth, so this spiritual rebirth would spread all over our nation as a burning flame. That is, after all, the true mission of the Bigorski monk – to present to God as a gift a multitude of repented people, a great number of followers, educated and ascertained in the mission of Christ. In his heart one can see the aim of monkhood written – to cry, to pray, love in the manner of Christ and for His sake, away from the comfort and amenities of this world.

These short 20 years of monastic feat are nothing compared to the eternity we have been offered as a gift, the effort is incomparable to the prize which God has prepared for His faithful servants. But we have decided to mark this 20th anniversary, not to praise ourselves, our praise is in God but in order to present the fruit of revived monkhood, to leave a testimony and thus glorify the great monastic lineage that we belong to. The history can testify just how much the monasticism, this radiance of the holiness of our Mother Church and its most wonderful offspring, has contributed to the flourishing of this Church. So in addition to this, we humbly offer our small contribution which our monkhood has made for the spiritual awakening of the Macedonian people in these past 20 years. In a way, we feel a responsibility towards the future generations to convey to them the past experience, as well as the knowledge for monkhood and its great spiritual value, so that they don’t repeat the same mistakes from the atheistic period when the monasticism was considered a socially negative phenomenon. In fact, being aware of what’s been happening in the world in the past decades, we cannot but feel worried for the future of mankind, due to the devastating spirit of changes which the new age brings upon us. For that reason today the mission of monasticism is even more essential and salvatory for the world.

I convey my warmest gratitude towards our most respected Archiereus and spiritual shepherd of this God-protected Diocese, His Eminence the Metropolitan of Debar and Kichevo Diocese, Mr Timothy, for his versatile support in these past 20 years in which he, guided by his strong love for God, and just as strong love for monasticism, as well as by his sincere paternal care for us, contributed greatly so that the Monastery could become what it is today – a real spiritual fortress and a firm pillar of our Holy Ohrid Archbishopric.

I would also like to thank all those who out of great love and care have invested themselves in this monumental edition through their research and work, thus assisting us in the enrichment of the Macedonian scientific literature and giving their testimony of the experience they had from the encounter with the Bigorski Monastery and monks.

But above all, I’m most grateful to the Trinitarian God Who has summoned me the unworthy and the last among the monks to guide spiritually in this turbulent time the Holy Bigorski Synodia and humbly carries the cross of serving my neighbour. Asking for the prayers of all the readers of this book, of all my spiritual children, I convey my prayers to the All-Merciful Saviour, so that He could give me the strength to accomplish, without embarrassment, my feat to the very end, and to be able to give a good account of the deed He has summoned me for.