At the end of 19th century, while taking a water from a fountain, little girl from Djunis village saw the Most Holy Theotokos who threw the stone and told her that the church should be built at the place where that stone had fallen, and that physically and mentally unhealthy people should find a cover and a protection there. And people built the small chapel indeed. The chapel has been ruined and rebuilt several times and many years later the small church grew at that very place, with the blessing of Saint Nikolaj Velimirović. That church is proclaimed as the Monastery of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos. One bigger church is built beside the small one, at the end of 20th century. Today, this place is one of the most sacred places in Serbia. Every October, several thousand orthodox believers gather on the feast day of the monastery, attending the solemn Vigil service for the whole night. At a midnight, akathist is served to the Holy Theotokos. Hundreds of people wait to be given the Sacred Mysteries of atonement, eucharistic liturgy and anointing of the sick. Believers sleep in the church gathered close to each other waiting for the morning liturgy. During the sunrise, many of them look in the sky waiting to see Holly Mother herself appearing over the monastery with her omophor which symbolize a cover and a protection to the blessed ones.
Serbia, Djunis, 2014.
All images and text © Marko Rupena
By Marko Rupena
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