A visit to the Celije Monastery in Serbia

avatar of @jelenaa
2 min read

Hello everyone. On the way back from Tara mountain, where I was recently with my family, I saw a sign on the road that said Celije Monastery. As we had never been there before, we decided to go now.

The road was narrow and led through the forest. The snow was cleared on the road, but I was a bit scared because the area was hilly and I wasn't sure that the snow would be cleared by the end of the road. Monasteries are usually located somewhere at the end of a road, at the last point after which there is nothing further.

I'm usually very curious when it comes to monasteries because I love and respect places that stand the test of time and I'm always interested to visit them. We arrived safely at the monastery, well hidden in the forest and in a peaceful and quiet environment.

The gate was open so we entered even though it was already late in the afternoon.

We found out that this monastery was most likely built in the 16th century, and maybe even earlier, because the first writings in which it is mentioned date from that period. Recently, a new church was built, which looks imposing.

It was closed and we couldn't get inside but I looked at it from the outside.

Although a new church was built, there is still an old one, which was open and we entered.

When we entered it was completely dark and the lady who works there told us that the relics are on the right and that we can kiss the coffin. I didn't know whose relics were there, I had to ask. She told me that there are the relics of Justin Popovic, the greatest Orthodox theologian of the 20th century, who was declared a saint by the Church in 2010. People come here for him and pray for their health believing that he will help them as he did when he was alive and helped people in real life. We did as the lady told us in order to respect this place as expected.

If you are not very religious like me, you may not feel the strength of faith that people who come here have, but still, after leaving the church, we felt different. We felt comfortable in that place as we walked and looked around the monastery area.

It was very cold and on the other hand very pleasant. I imagined a wish. It's always the same, that we are all alive and healthy.

Thank you very much for reading.

The images and writing are original and mine.