Monasteries and Churches of Montenegro

 
The Cetinje Monastery

The Cetinje Monastery, located in the capital of Montenegro, city of Cetinje, the widely known in the orthodox world, because it holds such spiritual treasures as the particles of The Holy Cross, on which Our Lord was crucified, the right hand of John the Baptist, who baptized the Lord in the Jordan and the Filerma icon of the Mother of God, painted by the Apostle Luke as well as the relics of St. Peter of Cetinje, one of the most venerated saints in the country. 

This monastery, founded in the XV century, is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Montenegro. The monastery was subjected to constant raids by the Turks. In the XVII century, during the war with the Turks, the building of the monastery was completely destroyed in an explosion. Later the monastery was rebuilt on a new, safer place - at the foot of the mountain.

The new monastery was built thanks to the effort of Bishop Daniel, whose mausoleum is located on a hilltop above the monastery complex. For building they used the stones from the ruins of the old monastery.

The history of the monastery is inextricably linked with the name of the great Serbian saint - St. Peter's Cetinje, who throughout his life fought for the Orthodox faith and the freedom of the country from the foreign invaders. Asking the Russian Tsar for help many times he swore allegiance to orthodox Russia; and together with the Russian army was struggling against Napoleon's troops.

St. Peter of Cetinje is considered to be the Russian-Serbian saint. Many pilgrims from different countries come to this place to venerate the right hand of John the Baptist, which is kept in the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God. Before the relicts appeared in Serbia, it was kept in Russia by the royal family. At the request of the Tsar’s mother Maria Fyodorovna, it was brought to Serbia by Metropolitan Anthony shortly before the Bolshevik revolution.

When entering the monastery complex, our guide told us that in 10-15 minutes father Mitrophan (one of the monks) will open for us the reliquary (raka), with the hand of John the Baptist and the particles of the Holy Cross so we could venerate them.
Such an opportunity seemed to us almost unbelievable. To be remembered that in 2006, when the right hand of John the Baptist arrived in Moscow, people stood in long lines, which stretched many miles toward the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and encircled the huge temple several times just to see and venerate the Holy relics of John the Baptist.  More than 400,000 were able to venerate the relics standing in line for 13-14 hours!