Devič Monastery

Devič Monastery

Devič Monastery is founded in 1434 in a wooded hills of Drenica, 5 km south of Srbica, in the central part of Kosovo and Metohija. Monastery was erected on the place where St. Joanikije /St. Joannicius/ lived in the highest ascetic manner within one hermitage pump in the 15th century. He was healing ill and poor people and had been making miracles. Monastery ranks among the most significant Christian shrines in the Balkans featuring the traditional rules form the ancient history. Devič Monastery is a endowment of Despot Djurdje Brankovic who built it in the memory of the healing of his ill daughter – virgin (devica), which is how the name came.

Since the 16th till the 19th century the books were being prescribed and decorated in Devič Monastery. In the period of the Turkish occupation Monastery was burnt down, ruined and reestablished several times. In 1941 Albanians abolished it and burnt it completely, so it was reconstructed again in 1950. The chapel of Saint Joanikije was enabled, two new churches were constructed as well as two dormitories and a belfry. Looted and vandalized in june 1999 when its nuns were taken away, isolated and humiliated, ethnic Albanians wanted to drive Serbian people from Kosovo. Since then Devič Monastery has been under the constant protection of French Forces. Finally in most serious unrest in March of 2004, Monastery was burnt and destroyed utterly when the nuns were evacuated for safety reasons. KFOR Representatives announced how they had succeeded to extricate the relics of Saint Joanikije, the great miracle worker from devastated ruins of the shrine of Devic Monastery.

 

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