On this festive day, when the Orthodox Church celebrates with love the memory of the Saint of love, Venerable Porphyrius the New of Kavsokalyvia, in the spirit of unity in the love of Christ, the Bigorski Holy Monastery was honoured with the visit of thirty young Orthodox God-loving souls from Tirana, Albania.
These pious pilgrims, thirsty for the sweet teaching of Christ, organised this pilgrimage with a great desire to meet and talk with our Elder, the Bishop of Antania Mr. Parthenius, about whom, according to their testimony, they had been listening and reading a lot with spiritual delight, and wanted to get to know him personally. In doing so, they made such a feat, that they travelled almost all night, to arrive in time for the Matins.
Our Elder met their zeal and longing for Christ with an open fatherly heart, so he welcomed them with great dignity and joy. First, in the glorious church of the honourable Forerunner, and then in the guest room. The group, guided by the reverent priest Fr. Elijah Mazniku, a years-long friend of the Elder and of Bigorski, was first acquainted with the history of the Monastery and the Holy sacristy in it, and following the table of love, they were also treated with a rich spiritual feast in the guest room. Namely, the young Christians from Tirana had a chance to listen to the inspired words of wisdom, comfort and instruction, which poured out from the compassionate parental heart of Bishop Parthenius, drinking abundantly from the quiet waters of peace, as if thirsty travellers through the desert of this world. Then they had the opportunity to talk with the Elder and ask him about various topics of spiritual life. On their part, grateful for the cordial reception and with radiant faces, they gave our Abbot gifts of love from their hearts, among which his portrait with the Monastery in the background.
Rejoiced and uplifted in spirit, with the blessing of the Elder, the pilgrims, headed to the Bigorski Library, where they were introduced to the archaic contents of the book fund. From here, they continued their pilgrimage to the Monastery of St. George the Trophy Bearer in Rajcica, and from there – to the saint-giving Ohrid.