In this festive period of Paschal rejoicing, at the Bigorski Monastery dependency, the Monastery of Saint George the Great Martyr, another beautiful and commendable deed occurred. Namely, with the blessing of our Elder, Bishop of Antania Mr. Partenij, who zealously advocates for our common spiritual and cultural renaissance, Rajčica once again echoed with the joyful sounds of the old bells that throughout the times had been donated to the sanctuary by various pious benefactors.
The oldest bell dates back to 1850 and was gifted to the Bigorski sanctuary by the Serbian princes Petar and Andrej along with their sisters Cleopatra and Elena. Indeed, Bigorski was the first monastery in Macedonia at that time to manage to obtain permission from the then Ottoman authorities for bell ringing. For this purpose, the Bigorski monks sought assistance from the free Christian states, and these donations are precisely the result of that. The next bell, from 1851, was offered to the Monastery by Christians from the Debar region, as a remembrance of their homeland. Along with it, two other bells were brought at that time. The last, and also the largest bell from 1925, was a gift from the ruler of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, Alexander I Karađorđević with his wife Maria and son Petar. Given that this bell was significantly damaged and non-functional, the Elder, caring for the beauty of the sanctuaries and for the protection and restoration of the spiritual and material heritage, blessed it to be fully restored and returned to use. The Austrian professional firm Grassmayr was engaged for this process, with the generous donation of our pious supporter Mr. Ratko Kapushevski and his family.
Today, after the successfully restored bell arrived from Austria, Elder Bishop Mr. Partenij performed the rite of consecration of the renewed and the newly acquired bells, wishing their sounds to proclaim the joy of the Resurrection until the Second Coming of Christ. The old and new bells were placed in the newly built bell tower in Rajčica, after first, in 2009, the Bigorski bell tower was renewed with a complete set of new bells. Thus, the old Bigorski bells finally found their worthy place.
“O Most Holy Lord, mercifully look upon our humble prayers and these bells, which are made for the service of Your holy Church and in glory of Your magnificent and all-holy name, bless them with Your heavenly blessing, consecrate them and pour into them the power of Your grace, so that Your faithful servants, when they hear their sound, may be strengthened in piety and faith, courageously to resist every demonic assault, day and night to hasten to prayers and praises in the temple. From their sound, let the storms be calmed, hail, lightning, and fearsome thunders cease, all adversarial heavenly powers retreat, all inflamed enemy arrows aimed at us extinguish, and all harmful air-born malefactions be pacified, held back by Your all-powerful and strong right hand. Amen.”