Nativity of the Lord Monastery
Zabriceni village, Edinet region
Phone (Secretariat): (+373) 246 51 146
Fax: (+373) 246 51 500
E-mail: [email protected]
Monk Superior: Archimandrite Damian (Burlacu)
(+373) 246 51 761
E-mail: [email protected]
For centuries our land has been protected and illuminated by monasteries and sketes. The wealthiest of them are situated in the centre of Moldova, but the poorest monastic settlement are scattered around the whole country. They are poor rather in the number of inhabitants than in the material aspect. This situation slightly improved in the north of the country, where the Diocese of Edinet and Briceni was created in 1998, conducted for eight years by the ever-commemorated Bishop Dorimedont – a remarkable hierarch, theologian, and, most importantly, true monk.
With the blessing of this hierarch, the Monastery of Nativity of the Lord was created near Zabriceni village on 4th August 1999. This monastic settlement is situated on the outskirts of a village, in a very picturesque area, on the territory of former health resort bought out by the Diocese of Edinet and Briceni. This monastery has become the only settlement of monks in the entire diocese. Other tree monasteries of the diocese are inhabited by nuns: in Calaraseuca, Rudi, and Briceni.
The first inhabitants of the community were 8 monks who came from the Noul Neamt (Chitcani) monastery, conducted by their superior, Hegumen (now, Archimandrite) Damian. Shortly, chapel, monks’ cells, refectory, and other monastic buildings were edified with the efforts of the brother monks. They were improved with time, while the monastic community expanded. There are 14 monastic inhabitants now, including 6 clergy.
The Patron Feast of the monastery became the Nativity of the Lord (25 December/7 January), because the inauguration occurred around the 2000th anniversary of the bodily Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Another important holiday of the monastic community is 4th August, the day of its foundation and the feast of Holy Great-Martyr Focas, in whose honour a small chapel was built on the territory of the Monastery. Other two heavenly protectors of the community are Reverend Paisy of Neamt and Siluan of Athos, great protectors of the monastic.
A new chapel was recently edified on the territory of the monastery, in honour of Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian. The community is still struggling to finish the construction of the big church of the monastery, that of the Nativity of the Lord. The works are going slower than it would be desired, for the construction works require considerable financial resources.
Although modest in the beginning, the community started to develop intense monastic and liturgical program, daily celebrating all church services and the Divine Liturgy. The rule of the Monastery is based on the Holy Mount Athos model. The choir sing in Byzantine style and in linear-choir stile. Every evening, Vespers and Compline services are officiated every day at 18.00, and at 3.30 a.m the Midnight and Matins services, then Hours, and Holy Liturgy are celebrated.
After the Divine Liturgy on Wednesdays and Fridays, the Acathist of the Theotokos, and every Sunday evening, the Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos are sang. These prayer rules to the Theotokos are celebrated in the monastery because it preserves two special icons of the Mother of God: Hodigitria of Zabriceni Monastery, and a copy of Panakranta (She Who is Quickly to Hear) icon of the Theotokos, brought from Mount Athos. Every Thursday, if there are such requests, the priests officiate the Holy Unction service for those in suffering, and on Satturdays the commemoration of the reposed service is officiated.
Monastery of Zabriceni is known for its intensive pastoral, missionary, and cultural ministry. Since its very foundation in August 1999, a Theologian Seminary for boys was inaugurated, and in August 2004 a Theology Institute was opened, later transformed into Faculty. The Seminary issued 8 promotions and the Faculty had 2 promotions since then, but due to high costs of these schools’ maintenance, especially due to hard times after the death of the ever-commemorated Bishop Dorimedont, these schools had to close, and the monastery retargeted its missionary and intellectual potential to other areas necessary for the Church.
Now, years after its foundation, the monastery of Zabriceni thanks All-Merciful God, His Most Holy Mother and all Saints for the heavenly protection and divine guidance. We also pray to the Lord to bless all those who have supported us, and we hope that Lord Jesus will never leave us without His help.