Mala Remeta Monastery

Mala Remeta Monastery

Mala Remeta Monastery, with the Church dedicated to the Shroud of the Holy Virgin is Serbian Orthodox Medieval Monastery situated near the Vrdnik Banja Spa and the village, few kilometers southeast of the Jazak Monastery, in the central-southern part of the Fruska Gora Mountain. Mala Remeta Monastery was founded in the late Medieval age at the end of the 17th century, although there are no exact data on its history. The church of the Mala Remeta Monastery had been built on the foundations of the possible earlier shrine by monks of the Rača Monastery near the Drina River who escaped from there persecuted by the invading Turks. A legend has it that Mala Remeta Monastery was erected as a gift of the King Dragutin. The name of the Mala Remeta comes from the Greek word of eremita which means deserted place – small deserted place.

The reliable sources date from the Turkish era of rule in this area, when the Mala Remeta Monastery was first time mentioned in the Turkish defters -annals- in 1546 by the name of Remetica. Mala Remeta Monastery possessed its large estate in the 16th century. The Mala Remeta Monastery was destroyed at the end of the 16th century and got its present look in the reconstruction started in 1739 which was carried out by monks from Raca Monastery. The Church of Mala Remeta Monastery is without a belfry, and has been built of grey-blueish stone in traditional style of architecture with the large row of blind arcades. Such architecture is found in shrines south of the Danube and Sava rivers, and the Mala Remeta Monastery is considered as one of the most beautiful and most harmonious among the monasteries of Fruska Gora Mountain. The agreement was set with master workers from Greece “to build the shrine as beautiful as they can accomplish“. The Church of Mala Remeta Monastery features the cross-shape base and the semi circled apse and was completed in 1739. Frescoes of the Mala Remeta Monastery were painted in 1910 while the iconostasis was painted in the period 1757 – 1759 and includes 5 rows of 53 icons which were painted by various fresco painters. In the first zone of the iconostasis are throne icons of the Shroud of the Holy Virgin, Saint John the Baptist, the Jesus Christ and the Holy Virgin which were painted by the painter from Novi Sad Jovan Halkozovic. The Dormitory of Mala Remeta Monastery was destroyed in the Second World War by the Ustashas who took 300 books from the monastic library, but the church luckily was not destroyed.

In 1910., 1988. and 2006. there were large reconstruction works carried out, and during the last reconstruction the new dormitory was erected, by funds of nun Angelina and Abbess Rafaila. The Abbess Rafaila joined the monastic life in the Monastery of Saint Joachim of Osogovo from where she moves to Serbia after the Macedonian Orthodox Church was created in 1967, effectively as an offshoot of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In 1981 there were wooden candlesticks with depictions of the Holy Virgin and Saint John from the 18th century found in attic and today they are in front of the iconostasis. The new, separate chapel, fully fresco painted and dedicated to Saint prophet Elias has been built in 1987 at the very entrance to the monastic church.

The Monastery of Mala Remeta keeps the part of the holy relics of the Holy New-martyr Đorđe Kratovac, found here during sixties of the 20th century. The Holy New-martyr Đorđe Kratovac was of the Serbian origin from town of Kratovo in present North Macedonia. The young Đorđe was goldsmith and in his heart and soul was true and honest Christian. When Đorđe was 18, he was severely tortured and burnt at the stake by the Turks on 24 February 1515, after he refused to convert to Islam. Along with the Holy Abbot Paisius, the Holy Zlata Meglenska and Holy Deacon Avakum, the Holy New-Martyr Đorđe Kratovac belongs to the most favorite new-martyrs among the Serbs of the Orthodox faith. The Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates this holy martyr on 24 February.