Sihastria Monastery - a pilgrim flashbacks"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted”

Luke 18,14. Entrenched for more than 2000 years, the Romanian monachism had always the same way of expression. It came into being in secluded areas far away from the profane world. 22 kilometers from Targu Neamt city, in the Neamt mountains (?) existed such a place: SIhastria Monastery. In the seventeen century, in 1655, a monk named Atanasie with 7 of his apprentices was building here the first little monastery of which we have information. The wooden church had its celebration on the Birth of Blessed Virgin Mary’s day. The current monastery dates back for 400 years. The Sihastria Monastery and the word “sihastrie” mean silence, serenity. “Sihastrie” means a secluded place, a quite place where monks and nuns pray night and day. In 1821 the Turkish invaders had set fire to the church and to the monks’ cells. In 1824 Veniamin Costache the Moldavia’s Mitropolit rebuilds these constructions from scratch and the nowadays church is this time built of stone. Sixty five years, until 1889, the monastery had functioned continuously. Then, due to a wood factory that had been built near the monastery, the activities in the monastery were suspended. The monks vanished to others monasteries in Moldavia. The beginning of the 20 century meant a new breath of enthusiasm for the monachal life at Sihastria. Scores of monks from different regions of the country came here. Some of them left great traces in the monachal and in the Romanian spiritual history. Father Ilie Cleopa. He was borne on 10th of April 1912 in Sulita commune in Botosani district, in North Moldavia.

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