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Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael


The first monastery church in Berovo was built in the period between 1815 and 1818. It was consecrated in 1818 and among those present at its consecration was the Macedonian Christian enlightener Joachim.

There are no reliable historical data about the construction of the church and the monastery; still, one thing is certain: the church construction was carried out under very difficult circumstances. Here is what one of the legends says:

Krčovski In the beginning of the 19th century, Berovo was a rural settlement with around two hundred houses and one small and fallen into disrepair church alone. Therefore the more distinguished inhabitants of Berovo at that time decided to have a new church built at the site called Mogila (tomb). The parish priest, Fr Peco, was assigned the task of obtaining a building permit from the Turkish authorities in Radoviš. The Turkish governor (Vali) did give a building permit, however, under exceptionally difficult, almost impossible to be fulfilled conditions. Namely, the church was to be built low, below the road level and not to be seen, construction was to end in forty days, and Fr Peco was to give his youngest daughter, Sultana, to the harem. Those conditions did not discourage Berovo inhabitants from their intention. With great effort and dedication on the part of the believers, the church was built up and covered with stone blocks in 40 days. In order not to be noticed, its outside wall was covered with soot and lime. Seeing that the church had been built above ground after the deadline, the governor got infuriated and ordered the three church elders immediately to be murdered in front of the church, and since Sultana had fled to Kyustendil, Fr Peco was imprisoned. He was released from prison three years later, and his daughter came back to Berovo upon finding out that the komitas (fighters against the Turkish rule) had killed the governor.

The foundations of the first female monastery in Berovo were lain twenty years after the construction of the monastery church (around in 1840). The first nuns in the monastery were the daughter-in-law and the daughter of Fr Risto, a son-in-law of Fr Peco. They had their monastic tonsure with a blessing from the abbot of the Rila Monastery. The first abbess of the monastery was Eugenia I, the second Eugenia II, the third Eugenia III, and the fourth was Eulampia, who was made abbess in 1958 by the first Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, His Beatitude Dositheus. At its flowering, and that was in the first half of the twentieth century, the monastery numbered up to sixty nuns, with a developed rich economy, a theological seminary, a weaving mill. The first single-phase hydro-power plant in this area was the monastery one.

Text copied from: www.mpc.org.mk









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