With the sweet singing and pure love for God, with great zeal and strong faith, the 7th religious camp in our holly sanctuaries, the monasteries of Bigorski and Rajchica, has just finished. This time, our dear guests were the youngest Ohrid citizens, whose spiritual education was founded in this very place, under the spiritual protection of our beloved Abbot Fr. Parthenius.
The youngest participants from Ohrid, spent these five days in utter joy, missed not a single moment to enjoy the spiritual homilies based on the examples of the Holy Fathers and Elders of the Orthodox Church, which are so useful for their spiritual and moral development. But, the most interesting story for them was the historical-instructive lesson about the Ohrid Archbishopric, which they, being citizens of this historical city, accepted with great love. This is also confirmed by their written impressions, of which we have chosen the following:
Haritina Vlavchevska, 10 yrs old, from Ohrid: – The good and dear people spread positive energy that calm our hearts. Here, all people are like that. Rajchica – the place where I enjoy going the most. When I got off the bus, I thought that I arrived in a paradise. I spent five wonderful days, and all the time I was asking myself: Is this a dream or a reality? Every morning spent with sincere prayer and every night with warm kisses – love is endless.
Luka Kolevski, 9 yrs old, from Ohrid: – My name is Luka and I am 9 years old. I came to the religious camp with my friends. In the mornings we had Liturgy, after that we had lessons which were followed by the Canon. Also, we had other services and lessons. The monks’s singing was stunning, and they cooked very well. The abbot of the monastery welcomed us with the biggest love. After the lunch, we were cleaning the leftovers. We visited the coast of Radika River. I like the monastery and the monks a lot. We stayed there from 23rd till 28th July. While we were dining, one of the monks was reading and then we received spiritual food too. Also, they made us pancakes.
Hristijan Nikoloski, 13 yrs old, from Ohrid: – Above all, I would like to thank the Abbot and the monks for the great hospitality but mostly to St. John the Baptist for welcoming us in his Holly Monastery. I liked all of the activities a lot. The monks taught us with the biggest love and warmth. Personally, the greatest impression I had was when we were singing along with the monks in the sacred temple during the Service. I also liked the snacks and the reading lessons. The monk who will stay in my heart is Fr. Kozma. Also I have the same appreciation for Mr. Daniel, who kept us safe all the time. I loved the 5-day stay in the monastery and I would like to visit it again one day.
Mihail Janeski, 10 yrs old, from Ohrid: – In this religious camp, I had great time. I met some new friends. I learned a lot of things about Christ. Every evening, we watched spiritual movies or, read stories with Fr. Mitrophan. We were sang with the chorus; learned a song with Fr. Kozma; visited the fruit garden and the dogs. Everything was wonderful. We woke up every day at 6 o’clock in the morning. We watched how the holy bread is made and kneaded bread. We walked through the entire monastery. With Philip we learned about the Apostles’ Creed. One of the days, we went downhills near Radika River and there, we played football, but suddenly it started raining so we had to go back to the monastery.
Constantine Lusheski, 13 yrs old, from Ohrid: – In this summer camp at the monastery of Saint John the Baptist-Bigorski I learned a lot of things. The monks, trough prayers and lessons taught us about the Orthodox chanting, how we should behave and that we should respect each other as good Christians. Through the whole day we had activites, and in the night hours we watched spiritual movies or Fr. Mitrophan was reading us stories with Christian content. One of the activities was learning the Orthodox chanting. With Fr. Kozma we learned the praise of St. John of Debar and Philip explained to us about the history of the chanting and the prayers. In the last day we played football near the river. In the monastery I felt very nice and I am sure that I will come again.
Once upon a time, near Debar lived
A wise, clever and bright in the soul
The Ohrid Archibishop, John
Who listened to the pleading of his people.
In a monastery of Mother Mary he lived,
But the caves of Bistra, like his home, he loved
With prayer, vigils and fasting his life passed.
The icon of the Forerunner near the river Radika he found
Because of that, he built the monastery of the Baptist of God-
St. John, the brave. With the goodness, meekness and the strongest faith,
You enlightened the people around you.
With the ascetic life you also enlightened yourself, because of that:
Rejoice Ohrid, ancient city,
Rejoice, citizens of Orhid,
Because you have this saint for your intercessor.
The Rajchica Monastery, is like a dear mother.
Love here is pure, and this can be clear as a river.
God’s grace is mostly represented here.
And the life is very calm.
Activities, activities, time passes quickly,
But from here everyone leaves happy!