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St. Marina monastery

St Marina’s Monastery (nunnery) – the village of Karan Varbovka

      St Marina’s Monastery is situated near the village of Karan Varbovka, Dve Mogili Municipality, Ruse Province. It is one of the oldest Bulgarian monasteries, which were built during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1187-1396).

      After the Bulgarian Kingdom fell under Ottoman rule, the Turks began terrible persecutions, outrages and intolerable violence over the monks. The monastery was burned and torn down along with other Bulgarian sanctuaries and faded away from the peoples' memory, but the name of Saint Marina remained forever in the minds of the people. Marina was daughter of the pagan priest Antihoya Pisidiyska (3rd century), but she accepted the Christianity from an old Christian man. The ancient Christian church had its the most difficult times in the reign of Emperor Diocletian. (84-305). When Marina was only fifteen years old she also became a victim of these persecutions. As it is known from the legends that south from the monastery there had been a town from the Roman times, called Panovgrad and the place there is still known as Panovitsa.

      The second monastery was restored later (1828-1859). During the first half of the 19th century, not far from the destroyed monastery, a church was built - where water with healing properties sprang. This church, built in the honor of Holy Martyr Marina, was reconstructed and still exists; we know it from the archimandrite Veniamen's book "Short story of St Marina’s monastery" where he wrote that when he came to the monastery above the front west door of the church was written the year of 1890. The legend says that in one hot, cloudless day in July, during the harvest, the field's owner - a Turk, left his blind twelve-years-old boy to sleep in the corner of the field, and went to work. The child woke up and started to look for his father. As he was running, he stepped into the water. The boy drank and after he washed his face, he could see again. Happy, surprised and scared he ran to his father, and after the Turk made sure that his son could see again, he was very happy. Without losing more time, he took his son and ran to the nearest village, to share his happiness and to ask the villagers about the Christian holiday they were celebrating and about the saint making these miracles with the water. One old pastor answered that he has heard from the old priests that the place is famous with the name of Saint Martyr Marina and that her "AGIAZMA" was there (a source of holy healing water). The day when the Christians celebrate her memory is 17 July.

      The second monastery was restored later (1828-1859). During the first half of the 19th century, not far from the destroyed monastery, a church was built - where water with healing properties sprang. This church, built in the honor of Holy Martyr Marina, was reconstructed and still exists; we know it from the archimandrite Veniamen's book "Short story of St Marina’s monastery" where he wrote that when he came to the monastery above the front west door of the church was written the year of 1890. The legend says that in one hot, cloudless day in July, during the harvest, the field's owner - a Turk, left his blind twelve-years-old boy to sleep in the corner of the field, and went to work. The child woke up and started to look for his father. As he was running, he stepped into the water. The boy drank and after he washed his face, he could see again. Happy, surprised and scared he ran to his father, and after the Turk made sure that his son could see again, he was very happy. Without losing more time, he took his son and ran to the nearest village, to share his happiness and to ask the villagers about the Christian holiday they were celebrating and about the saint making these miracles with the water. One old pastor answered that he has heard from the old priests that the place is famous with the name of Saint Martyr Marina and that her "AGIAZMA" was there (a source of holy healing water). The day when the Christians celebrate her memory is 17 July.

      Gratitude to St Marina, the man gave the field with the AGIAZMA, so sick people could have a place to stay when they come to heal themselves. The story about the miracle was heard not only in Bulgaria, but in Moldovlahiya, Serbia and others. Since then St. Marina's memory is respected and is not forgotten. The crowds of believers never end. In all the times of ups and downs, of slavery and liberty, with faith people continue looking for and receive cure from various diseases and disabilities - in her intercession in front of Lord Jesus Christ.

      Gratitude to St Marina, the man gave the field with the AGIAZMA, so sick people could have a place to stay when they come to heal themselves. The story about the miracle was heard not only in Bulgaria, but in Moldovlahiya, Serbia and others. Since then St. Marina's memory is respected and is not forgotten. The crowds of believers never end. In all the times of ups and downs, of slavery and liberty, with faith people continue looking for and receive cure from various diseases and disabilities - in her intercession in front of Lord Jesus Christ.

      Faith is the idea of things we hope for and which we don't see. The healings happen according to the faith. Miracles occur even today. The church's triumph, her great historical victory, gained with the priceless blood of the thousands martyrs, always awakes reverence not only in Christians but in everyone, who turns over the pages of the history of the church and respects the historical justice. The doors of the monastery are wide open every day.

      Whenever you decide to visit the monastery, you will find the spring there - in the middle of the church, formed as a well, with stone steps, circled by an iron parapet in the shape of an octagon - with three doors. Because of the huge number of followers and tourists and visitors, who fill out the small monastery yard every year - especially around 17th June, in 1984 the water from the holy spring is brought out of the church in four decorative spouts, from which everyone can take from it in a bottle or glass.

      Today the local people continue keeping and passing on from generation to generation the belief that the water from the spring under St. Marina's patronage heals eye and kidney disease, infertility, whammy. The tests of the chemical analysis show that the water is poorly mineralized and it is suitable for everyday usage.

      The monastery's doors are wide open daily for pilgrims.

Tel. +359 81461 / 293
Address: St Marina’s Monastery (nunnery) – the village of Karan Varbovka
Karan Varboka, Post code 7163, Dve Mogili Municipality, Ruse Province, Bulgaria

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Project “Modern and Effective Administration in the municipality of Dve Mogili”. Contract А 09-31-38С/12.06.2009
Тhis project is being implemented with the financial support of Administrative Capacity Operational Programme, co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund.
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