Sisatovac Monastery

Sisatovac Monastery

In 1520 the Abbot Teofilo and monks Ilarion and Visarion of the Zica Monastery, who fled after Turkish persecution to the western part of the Fruska Gora Mountain, had built the new shrine of Šišatovac Monastery dedicated to the Birth of the Holy Virgin on the foundations of the previous Church of Saint Nicholas. Stefan Štiljanović /1460 – 1540/was the last prince of Pastrovici clan and saint since 1543, and persecuted by the Turks, had to flee to the Srem area, ruled by despot Jovan Brankovic. The noble Štiljanović Family lived in the Crmnica region during the Nemanides reign. In the middle of the 16th century monks transposed the earthen remains of the Saint Stefan Stiljanovic to the Sisatovac Monastery in Fruska Gora. In 1540 it was allowed to monks by the Turkish regulation /defter/ to rebuild their monastic dormitory and since 1560 the monastery was known as the Monastery dedicated to the Holy Stefan Stiljanovic. Stefan Stiljanovic was the despot of Srem from 1537 till 1543, and also an important Serbian saint, donor and knight. Origins of Stefan Stiljanovic come from the Pastrovic Family of Primorje, with the status of knight. He left all his possessions to the local population and in 1498 left  Primorje to settle in Srem, after a conflict with Venetians. He lived in Morovic and in folk tradition enjoyed a fame of the most distinguished Christian ruler, connected with number of noble deeds, and known for heroic fights with the Turks. Stefan Stiljanovic is buried in the Sisatovac Monastery Church, his holy relics are kept in the Holy Archangels Church in Belgrade, while the Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates day of the Holy Stefan Stiljanovic on the 17th October.
Sisatovac Monastery was heavily demolished and totally destroyed to be reconstructed by monks in 1634 according to permission of Turkish authorities. Sisatovac Monastery experienced its highest spiritual and cultural rise in the mid of the 18th century when it was visited by numerous Serbian metropolitan and arch-yerarchs and patriarchs. The present day Church of Sisatovac Monastery is endowment of Vicentije Popovic and Jovan and Josif Monasterlija whose tombs are preserved in the church. Sisatovac Monastery was heavily destroyed again in the Second World War.

The Church of Sisatovac Monastery is monumental structure and has shape of three-nave with the facade which is divided with decorative parts that are bounded by polasters and the belfry of baroque style. Present day Church of the Sisatovac Monastery was built in the period from the 1758 until the 1778. Dormitories have been built after the fire in 1849 and they were also destroyed as the Church during the Second World War. Fresco decoration was also damaged in the Second World War as well as the treasury and the library that were looted and set aflame in 1941 of which the Treasury was one of the richest among the Monasteries of Fruska Gora Mountain. The Monastery Library possessed 92 handwritten documents of which only 3 remained and are kept in the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Sisatovac Monastery is nowadays significant spiritual center of Serbia. Slava /patron Saint/ of Sisatovac Monastery is Mala Gospojina, celebrated on the 21st August.

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