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St. Gjorgji Pobedonosec (The monastery of Rajchica), Debar

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The place where is spread the miraculous smell of the relics of St. George … 

The monastery of St. Gjorgji Pobedonosec is situated in the village of Rajchica, near the city of Debar, in its suburb at only 2 km from the centre. St. Gjorgji Pobedonosec is a nunnery and it is a metox of the famous and the richest Macedonian monastery St. Jovan Bigorski. It is supposing that this monastery is founded in the 14th century, as a metox of the monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski in the Debar plain. However, the exact year of the construction of the monastery cells is 1835 at the time when the abbot of the monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski was the archimandrite Arsenij from Galichnik. The church was painted and pictured in the period from 1840 to 1852 by the iconographer Mihail and the monk Daniel from St. Jovan Bigorski, and the lower part was finished by their student Dicho Zograf (iconographer) from Tresonche.

Till 1945 in the monastery was living a fraternity forbidden by the communist government, and the monastery was turned into a paddock. Until the 1999 this monastery was ruined, but thanks to the initiative of the abbot of St. Jovan Bigorski, the archimandrite Partenij (with the fraternity), the monastery was reconstructed, and at the same time was recreated the nun sisterhood that today has a sister collaboration with the monastery “Rozhdenstvo na presveta Bogorodica” (“The birth of the blessed virgin Mary”) in Boston, USA.

It is interesting to be mentioned about the monastery that here are producing handmade mitres (hats worn by the high orthodox priests and archbishops) who are worn by the archbishops of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, but also by the archbishops in Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Romania, as well at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Today St. Gjorgji Pobedonosec is one the most beautiful Macedonian monasteries where traditionally is celebrated Gjurgjovden, that is also celebrated in the village of Rajchica where besides the citizens of Debar traditionally are coming visitors from other cities in Macedonia (Ohrid, Gostivar, Bitola, Skopje, Kochani etc.).

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