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Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra
By Pogranicze Galicja
Published: 10.02.2016



  
The monastery was founded in 1240, at the time when Batyy Khan occupied Kyiv. The Mongol invasion oppressed Orthodox Rus and destroyed all the sacred. The monks of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra left for Volyn in search of shelter. They found it on a cliffy hill, covered with thick wood. Here they settled down and brought a severe ascetic spirit of the Venerable Antoniy and Theodosius of Kyiv-Pechersk. They named their seclusion in memory of the Pochayna River, a tributary of the Dnieper River, on a bank of which their monastery used to stay. The monks were honored with the blessing of the Mother of God. They saw a vision of the Virgin Mary like the Burning Bush, standing above a rock, crowned and holding a scepter. When the vision faded, they saw the print of Her right Foot on the rock and healing water springing out of it. That vision was both the blessing and the sign of the Mother of God’s intercession for brethren of the newly founded monastery. The tales about them and about the miraculous vision of the Theotokos attracted more and more Christians for prayer. Many of them stayed there for carrying on their spiritual struggle. The increase of community and pilgrims generated a need for a church, which was built at the bottom of the hill (a chapel stands there now).

   As time passed word about the holy hill spread. The monks replaced the first wood church with the stone Holy Dormition Church, which started in Pochayiv the Dedication day of the Repose of the Virgin. So gradually from the end of 16th century the monastery had become the religious center of Western Rus. In 1597, the monastery received a gift of sizeable land, estate and the most valuable treasure - the wonder-working Icon of the Mother of God from a local noblewoman Anna Goiska, whose will was to keep the Orthodox faith and the Eastern Church ceremonies forever.

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Kamianets-Podilskyi - (photo zakapior)

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