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Vodoca St. Leontius' Monastery (view2)

At the exit of the village of Vodoca, only four kilometres northwest of Strumica, loom up stately the renovated cupolas of the church of Saint Leontius, in silent testimony to the magnificence of the ancient seat of Strumica metropolitans. At night the sight is yet more majestic. The whole complex is lightened from various angles. Amid the surrounding darkness the chance traveller gets the feeling as if the monastery were pending, in descent from the heavens. There are two ways in. One of them leads to the large church of St. Leontius and the guest quarters. The second, through the main gate, leads to the monastic part, where the small newly built church is situated ?dedicated to St. Gregory Palamas and to the venerable Elder Joseph the Spilaioti ? with the belfry, opposite the monastic residential quarters (konak). In the vicinity, by the young plane trees, along the path behind the monastery walls, hidden from the eyes of the visitors, on a hillock above the monastery, with an open view to the whole valley, the small church dedicated to St. Triphon is located, within the new skete at the monastery vineyard. To tear off a piece of Heaven and to bring it down here, for consolation and salvation of people, to turn an arid wild area into a garden of the Spirit, to be a witness to the Heavenly Kingdom in the world... is a cross-and-resurrection struggle, worth man's life. Few of them are there called to bear witness in the place of Christ. Such awitness is the bishop. About this holy, martyric struggle of the hierarchs, about the visible and the invisible war against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, which the ascetics wage, about love towards enemies, Vodoca has much to tell... without words. For the ones who know how to listen in humility, to see... with the eye of the soul.

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