Pătrăuţi, Bukovina, Romania, April 5, 2021
Early last month, the Solca Monastery in the heart of Bukovina, abolished by the Habsburg Monarchy 236 years ago, was festively reopened as a monastery.
On Sunday, another Romanian Orthodox Monastery abolished by the Habsburgs was reopened. At the time of his enthronement, His Eminence Archbishop Calinic of Suceava and Rădăuţi announced his desire to reestablish the more than 20 monasteries that were abolished and closed after the Habsburg Monarchy occupied Bukovina in 1775.
Yesterday, on the Sunday of the Holy Cross, His Grace Bishop Damaschin, vicar of the Archdiocese of Suceava, tonsured Mother Alexandra (Bădragan) as a stavrophore nun and installed her as the new abbess of Pătrăuti-Elevation of the Cross Monastery, reports the Basilica News Agency.
His Grace also celebrated the first Divine Liturgy at the newly-reopened monastery. The service was attended by numerous believers, as well as monks and nuns from other Bukovina monasteries.
Pătrăuti is one of Romania’s famous painted monasteries. It was founded by St. Stephen the Great in 1487. Its population quickly declined after the Habsburgs occupied Bukovina in 1774-1775, and it was finally abolished and turned into a parish at the beginning of the 19th century. The Archdiocesan Council of Suceava officially decided to reopen the monastery at its recent session on March 31.
The monastery, a UNESCO monument, is the oldest church left from the time of St. Stephen the Great. The monastery church is currently undergoing restoration that is scheduled to be completed this year.
A television report on the reopening of the monastery shows scenes from the Liturgy and around the monastery: