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Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short
history of this important monastery

Prislop Monastery Courtyard, Transylvania, Romania - Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

Prislop Monastery Courtyard, Transylvania, Romania – Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

Prislop Monastery is located in one of the most picturesque regions of our country. From Hateg – to south – open the wonderful depression of the Hateg or “Hateg Country” cradle of the Romanian people, that stretches from the foothills of the Retezat Mountains.

Set in a forest at an altitude of 640 m, Prislop monastery is surrounded by hills that descend into gentle slopes close up to the monument.It has been said, rightly, that a road on the “Hateg Country” is “a way” or “a down” in history. Human life has continually pulsed these wonderful places, from the Paleolithic man, whose traces were discovered in caves at Ohaba Ponor and Cioclovina, located not far from Prislop, east of Hateg Depression.

On this originaly space and full of history of our people, St. Nicodim, organized and guided Romanian monasticism in the second half of the fourteenth – century founded Prislop monastery, 13 km from Hateg, after he builded the monasteries of Vodiţa, Topolniţa, Visina and Tismana, and also Vratna and Manastirita from Serbia. St. Nicodim copied to Prislop Slavonic Four Gospels on parchment and frontispieces adorned with miniatures, which are kept at the National Museum of Art and History in Bucharest.

At the end of the Gospel, St. Nicodim wrote a proving the place and time of writing: “This Gospel was written by priest Nicodim, in the sixth year of persecution in the Hungarian country, from the creation to the year 6913, 1405” which could be only Prislop monastery at that time, as St. Nicodim was in good relations with the Hungarian king Sigismund.

Although time of 150 years aren’t documents, it is certain that the monastery continued her missionary work to strengthen the spiritual life of the faithful and the defense of Orthodoxy. A testimony is that Mr. Zamfira daughter Wallachian prince Basarab Moses Voda in Bucharest,  Transylvania refugee after her father’s death, heard about the Prislop monastery and of the healing power source near the monastery. She came to see the monastery and being impressed by her beauty, and drank water from the nearby stream. The healing of his disease, princess Zamfira she restored monastery church between 1564-1580, becoming the second founder of the Prislop monastery.

Princess Zamfira she adorned the church with a new painting in fresco, executed by an painter from Romanian Country and gave the church an icon of Virgin Mary that makes miracles, which was taken in 1762 at Blaj after church arson at the General Buccow order, Governor of Transylvania, and returned in 1913 during a restoration.

Back in time on the princess Zamfira they say were two monasteries, one for men and and one for nuns, as princess Zamfira lived here between 1575-1580. Also in his time was founded at Prislop Monastery a school for future priests and singers.

The abbot of the monastery was then Ioan from Prislop, who buried the princess Zamfira to 1580, and on the year 1585 became Metropolitan of Transylvania on Alba Iulia. Cathedral built in 1587 on Alba-Iulia and metropolitan residence with the help of Michael the Brave / Mihai Viteazu, whom he met in 1600 during his triumphal entry in Alba-Iulia.

The abbot of the monastery was then Ioan from Prislop, who buried the princess Zamfira to 1580, and on the year 1585 became Metropolitan of Transylvania on Alba Iulia. Cathedral built in 1587 on Alba-Iulia and metropolitan residence with the help of Michael the Brave / Mihai Viteazu, whom he met in 1600 during his triumphal entry in Alba-Iulia.

From 1600 to 1700 follows also a century where we not have much news about Prislop Monastery. It will continued moralizing mission among the faithful ones, having faced and action undertaken in this century Calvinist proselytizing with great intensity among Romanian Orthodox
princes of old times from Hateg and Hunedoara. In 1629 there is a documentary testimony about the Prislop Monastery about a trip made by three monks here in Russia. The three monks – monk Theodosius / Teodosie, arhideacon Gideon / Ghedeon and monk Mardarie – are the first Romanian Transylvania people known until today, who had the courage to make a long and tiring journey to Russia. They went to Moscow for help, but were suspected of “cunning” came back without having seen the czar face and the patriarch and without special help.

In 1759 the painting of the church from the time of princess Zamfira was restored by painter Simeon from Pitesti. In 1762, during the religious turmoil of the mid-eighteenth century, on the occurrence of Greek Catholicism, as a retaliation against the resistance and refusal Orthodox monks here to go to Greek Catholicism, the church was burned by order of General Buccow. As a result, the painting was destroyed, remaining only eight scenes from “The Acatist of the Virgin Mary” in the upper register of the narthex, and outside, above the door icon of
the patron – St. Ioan the Evangelist – and fragments of the Judgement Day.

Church Prislop Monastery - Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

Church Prislop Monastery – Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

After encroaching of the monastery and expulsion of the Orthodox monks that took refuge in the Romanian Country, one of them named Ephraim / Efrem, composed a poem in 710 verse, entitled “Complaint of the Holy Silvas Monastery of the Diocese of Hateg from Prislop” poem discovered by Boliac Caesar in the nineteenth century Caldarusani Monastery, near Bucharest and published it the first time. He copied with his brother Michael / Mihail at Prislop known work of Cantemir Dimitrie, the learned Lord of Moldova “Divan or quarrel with the world or judgment wise soul with the body” printed in Iasi in 1698 with Romanian and Greek text, a book of moral education in orthodox spirit with an anthology of texts taken from Scripture and teachings of ancient philosophers and latest thinkers. The manuscript book realized then show concerns of monks of the Prislop monastery the middle of the eighteenth century.

Since 1762 the monastery belonged to the Greek Catholic Church unfairly historic act of returning until the priests and faithful forefathers united Orthodox Church in October 1948 and had the beneficial trace Prislop Monastery, which they rejoined the track Orthodox by birth. After two centuries of forced alienation, founded by Saint Nicodemus and Lady Zamfira royalty Orthodox monastery, as it was more than three and a half centuries.

Father Arsenie Boca Sepulchre - Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

Father Arsenie Boca Sepulchre – Prislop Monastery, Transylvania, a short history of the monastery

On 25 November 1948 the Metropolitan of Transylvania from then, Balan Nicolae, personally brought to Prislop, for restoration of the monastery which was in poor condition, the Monk Arsenie Boca until then abbot of the monastery of rerisen Brancoveanu from Sambata de Sus, who with two centuries ago had the same fate as the Prislop Monastery, being destroyed with guns by order of the same general Buccow.

GO2 Romania Team / Freelancer / office(at)go2-romania.com

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