Page 550 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 550

 Dušan Kašić
Monastery of Devič fresco and inscription on the fondation of the church
Miloje Milošević from Preljina and the icons by Sister an- tonina from Monastery Ćelije.
it is indeed a wonder where these sisters gained their strength,zealandwisdomtoexecutesuchacolossalresto- ration under the most difficult circumstances. For years they hauled water from the deep ravine for their own use and for building purposes, and they assisted the trades- men. They tilled the soil, waited on their guests, and above all, they prayed to God. With their spiritual fathers they maintained the monastic ecclesiastical rule and always had time to greet the faithful who would come there with their troubles looking for comfort and healing. Their first spiri- tual father was Makarije Popović (1947), following him ab- bot Dimitrije Bodrob, a Russian (1948–1967) who died in the monastery and left the sisters mourning after him as they would their own father. after him came priestmonk Dionisije, then Sava...
From the beginning of its restoration in 1947, Mother Paraskeva has been abbess. Born in 1912, she took her vows in 1941 in Monastery Ljubostinja which she entered in 1934, with Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović tonsuring her. During the war, in 1943 she moved to Monastery Sukovo near Bela Palanka and then four years later she came to Devič where, with the sisterhood and the God-loving folk, she made a city of ruins. it is city which prepares people for the “Heav- enly City,” for the “Heavenly jerusalem.” Here through the person of the great Saint, God’s mercy pours out on many who come in faith. in one report of our time on Monastery Devič we read about these miraculous healings.
in the time of the restoration of the monastery, parents brought along their insane daughter who was miraculously cured. She is now the mother of a mischievous little boy with whom she regularly visits the monastery.
in 1947, a 17 year old shepherd who sat by the holy grave was miraculously cured overnight. Following the blessing of the oil a young boy was cured who was brought to the monastery in chains.
a girl was cured of paralysis, a boy from epilepsy, a wom- an from migraines.
Many miracles occurred amidst the Muslim Slav and Muslim albanian population of Kosovo, so that St. joani- kije is also highly respected amongst them.
in 1983 Monastery Devič had eleven nuns. Four who died earlier still live in their prayers and in the memory of God. Death is only a sleep. and after 34 years, still today their abbess is Mother Paraskeva. This great woman gave all to the monastery as did her sisters. By offering her phys- ical strength and health, she was giving her undying love to God and people, to those who search for God and find him, who come to Devič for God’s help and who attain it through the prayers of God’s holy elect, St. joanikije. Mother Para- skeva and her exemplary sisters came to Monastery Devič in sacrifice. They undertook much suffering, had many pain-filled days and nights, they endured much, but they know that only he who “endures to the end will be saved.”
When one has seen or heard of Devič he must, even if inadvertently, say to this honourable group of Christ-bear- ing nuns, the truthful words of their bridegroom Christ: “RejoiceandbegladforgreatisyourrewardinHeaven.”
The Serbian Orthodox Church: Its Past and Present, Belgrade 1983, pp. 53–58.
St. Joanikije’s repose, Monastery of Devič
Monastery of Devič, fresco

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