Iskrets, Bulgaria, June 1, 2021
The ancient Holy Dormition Monastery in the western Bulgarian village of Iskrets, which has undergone extensive renovations in recent years, was fully consecrated on Sunday.
The service was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Polycarp of Belogradchik, Vicar of the Sofia Diocese, together with a number of local clergy and visiting archimandrites, and was well attended by a large number of pilgrims, reports the Bulgarian Church’s press service.
Bp. Polycarp brought with him relics of St. John the Wonderworker of Rila, which will remain in the monastery for veneration for a week.
During the service, relics of the Bulgarian New Martyrs of Batak were placed into the holy altar, after which the ancient monastery was completed consecrated with holy Chrism, and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. During the service, a seminarian from the local area was ordained to the priesthood.
Following the service, the abbot thanked Bp. Polycarp and all those who helped rebuild, repair, and beautify the monastery, and promised to constantly pray for them all, and that the monastery would become “a place where everyone can find God and receive an answer to their prayers.”
After the service, a completely renovated two-story monastic residential building from the early-20th century was consecrated.
“Thus, the monastery was revived for a new life and awaits its new inhabitants and pilgrims,” reads the Church report.
According to a donor’s inscription in the nave of the monastery church, the Holy Dormition Monastery has existence since 1110. It was destroyed several times and was restored in the 17th and 19th centuries, preserving three layers of iconography—the earliest from the 13th-14th centuries.
The monastery was neglected during the communist period, but in recent years, the main church and baptistery have been repaired and strengthened, and a new iconostasis was made. Restoration work on the frescoes is still underway.