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Saint Marina Monastery, Karan Varbovka

100 National Tourist Sites

The monastery “St. Marina” is located near the village of Karan Varbovka, Dve Mogili municipality, Ruse region and is one of the oldest Bulgarian monasteries dating from the period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom /1187-1396/. After the fall of the Bulgarian kingdom under Turkish rule, terrible persecutions, mockery and intolerable violence against the monks began on the part of the Turks.

The monastery was burned and razed to the ground, as well as other similar Bulgarian shrines, and gradually disappeared from the consciousness of the people’s memory, but the name of St. Marina remained permanently in the consciousness of the people. The girl Marina was the daughter of a pagan priest in Pisidian Antioch /III century/, but she accepted Christianity from an old man – a Christian.

The ancient Christian Church was subjected to the most severe and cruel test during the reign of Emperor Diocletian /284 – 305/. The girl Marina, only fifteen years old, also became a victim of these persecutions. It is known from folklore that in the south, near this first monastery, there was a town from Roman times called “Panovgrad”, and the area is still called “Panovtsa”. The second monastery was rebuilt later /1828 – 1859/.

In the first half of the 19th century, a church was built not far from the ruined monastery – where the water with healing properties came from. This church, built in honor and glorification of St. Great Martyr Marina, was renewed and exists to this day, we learn from Archimandrite Veniamen’s book “A Brief History of the Monastery “St. Marina”, in which he wrote that upon entering the monastery, the year 1890 was written above the western entrance door of the church.

Legend has it that on a hot, cloudless, July day, during the harvest, the owner of the fields – a Turk, left his blind twelve-year-old boy sleeping at one end of the fields, while he went to work, the child woke up and went looking for his father. Running it stepped into water. He drank from the water and after washing his face he saw.

Joyfully, surprised and frightened, it ran to its father, and he, having made sure that his child could really see, was very happy. Without delay, he grabbed it and ran to the nearby village to share his joy and ask its inhabitants what Christian holiday they celebrate and who is the saint who works miracles with this water?

An old priest answered that he had heard from the old priests and elders that the name of the holy great martyr Marina was glorified at the place in question, and that there was her “AGIASM” /spring with holy healing water/. The day is July 17, on which Orthodox Christians honor her bright memory.

As a thank you to St. Marina, the other believer gave the fields with AGIAZMATA, under an oath /order/, that when the sick come there, there will be a place to stay. The miracle spread not only in Bulgaria, but also in Moldova, Serbia, etc. From then until today, the memory of St. Marina is cherished and not forgotten.

It does not stop the flow of believers who, through all times of ups and downs, of slavery and freedom, with fervent faith seek and receive healings from various diseases and infirmities – through her intercession before the Lord Jesus Christ. “Centuries of glory, stuck in darkness” /Ivan Vazov/.

“There is nothing that will not be made manifest, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light” /Luke 8:17/. Faith is an idea of things hoped for and not seen. Healings happen according to her. Miracles still happen today. The celebration of the Church, its great historical victory, won with the priceless blood of thousands of martyrs of the faith, always arouses reverence not only in the Christian, but also in everyone who flips through the history of the Church and respects historical justice. The doors of the monastery “St. Marina” are wide open all day for pilgrims.

Work time:
Opening hours:
Every day: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

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