30th anniversary of revived Romanian monastery—12 hierarchs, thousands of pilgrims (+VIDEO)

Bârsana, Maramureș County, Romania, July 3, 2023

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Twelve hierarchs and 15,000 pilgrims gathered at the Synaxis of the 12 Apostles Monastery in Bârsana in northern Romania last week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ancient monastery’s revival.

His Grace Bishop Iustin of Maramureș and Sătmar described the reestablishment of the monastery as a “love story between God and His people,” reports the Basilica News Agency.

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The anniversary celebration was also blessed with the presence of the wonderworking icon from Rohia Monastery.

The Bârsana monastery is documented as far back as 1390. The monastery was known as a great center of Orthodox spirituality. After the establishment of the Romanian Uniate church in 1700, the monastery served as an impregnable fortress of Orthodoxy, and even under the pressure of the authorities, it managed to survive until 1791. It became possible to revive the monastery only after the fall of the communist regime. The first service in the revived monastery was celebrated on June 30, 1993.

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“The revival of the monastery meant an act of justice. His Grace Bishop Justinian [of Maramureș and Sătmar], a lover of monasticism and monk par excellence, fulfilled the wish of the Bârsana faithful together with Fr. Gheorghe Urda, the founder, and laid the foundation stone. What followed was a miracle,” Bp. Iustin said.

As His Grace recalled, in 1994, two experienced nuns, Mothers Filofteia and Emanuela, came from Râmeț Monastery in central Romania and “took over the monastery, and what can be seen today is due to them.”

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“Everything is a love story between God and his righteous people, between monks, priests, hierarchs and the righteous people of Maramureș,” His Grace stressed.


At the end of the service, the anniversary Act issued by the local diocese was read out. Abbess Filofteia was awarded both by the Church and state authorities, as was the monastery, and Bp. Iustin was named an honorary citizen of Bârsana.

A report from the Romanian Orthodox Church’s Trinitas TV shows scenes from the monastery and the anniversary:

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