Three km from the village Slivnica, on the slopes of Baba mountain, from the est side of the coast of Prespa lake, in the thick forest, there is a monastery Holy Mother of God, more famous among the people as Slivnicki Monastery. Its construction began in 1607, and it was continued in 1612, and it was finally completed in 1645. The paintings of the temple originate from that time as well, including the wooden iconostasis, imperial doors, and a large cross.
There are living quarters built with the monastery, which were constructed at the end of the 17th century, which were on fire twice. Around 20 quarters were rebuilt today, with 90 beds. Massive pine forest spread around the forest 100 years ago, which also burned in the fire, but the monastery and the church were preserved by the Mother of God. The locals of this area of Prespa testify that the Mother of God appeared many times around monastery premises.
A janitor took care of the monastery until 1996, Bozin Necovski, better known as Uncle Bosko. He listened about many stories about the miracles of Slivnicki Monastery, and the local newspapers recorded the testimonies of this area who saw the Mother of God, or were witnesses of her miraculous powers.
Metodija Mitrevski, a local of the village Slivnica, claimed at the time that the mother of Christ appeared to him while he was passing by the monastery with his flock of sheep. A female figure in dark clothing, with a scarf, similar to the paintings in the church.
- It was dusk, I was returning the sheep from pasture. She came out of the dense forest and she headed towards the monastery. Not a single dog barked. We were stunned. I was woken from the delirium by the sound of iron yard doors that she opened when she entered the yard of the monastery - a shepherd Metodija Mitrevski said.
He was one of many locals of Prespa area who witnesses the phenomenon. Late Kote Stojanovski experienced the similar thing as a child. He struck the monastery bell with a rock, and he froze up from that moment on. His family remained in the temple for months, praying the Mother of God for mercy. The child has finally started to walk and Kote never left the temple, so he got the nickname Priest and he lived 106 years.
The janitor Bozin Necovic kept a log of the people who experienced something incredible in the Slivnicki Monastery.
- During the holiday of St. Tryphon, Dime Bosilkovski and Jovko Popovski from the neighboring village Kurbinovo came to the monastery to sleep over. Nikola Kotevski from Pretor joined them. He suddenly fainted that night, probably due to high blood pressure. His friends rushed to the village to ask for help. When they came back, they saw a halo above the church. Miraculously, their friend survived. He was saved by Mother of God - uncle Bosko said.
The mother of Christ used to help the former president of the Church Board, Rista Mitrevski. While he served the army, he was seriously wounded. While he was dying he promised the mother of God that he will take two gold coins to the Slivnicki Monastery if she saves his life. He survived, and all other soldiers of his company died.
A miracle saved the janitor himself, Bozin Necovski. He used to pick up mushrooms in the forest around the monastery when he was young when he almost died due to the venomous snake. He just reached out to grab a mushroom, and an unfamiliar voice sounded in the forest, which told him not to touch the mushroom because he will be bitten by a snake. Since that moment, Bozin Necovski, sworn communist, started believing in God.
The strangest story about the testimonies was the one of the photo, taken 20 years ago by a Macedonian photographer. He took a picture of the cross through the window and a female figure with a black shawl could be seen, and it is believed that it is the Mother of God.
There is a drinking fountain in the yard of the beautiful monastery, and it is believed that a healing water pours out of it.
- This water is a cure for women who cannot have children. It helped many women, no matter their religion or nationality. Two brothers asked for help from the monastery fountain, Albanians from Prilep. Avni was married for 19 years and he couldn't have children, and his brother Bari was married for 10 years. Holy water helped both of them. Now they both have sons - the janitor Uncle Bosko said.
(Telegraf.co.uk / D.J.)