Friday, July 10, 2009


Not too far from Podgorica there is a monastery built into the side of a mountain, Ostrog, which contains the body of Saint Vasili. Many Orthodox followers believe that his remains have special healing power. As you explore the monastery you can enter this tiny little room where his remains are "on display" although you can't actually see him (not that I'd want to see a century old dead body). There is a cloth over his body slippers on his feet and sock like mittens on his hands. There was also a priest in the room, for the purpose of prayers I suppose, and also to protect the corpse. Pilgrims walk up rather treacherous looking stairs (the last few on their knees) in the hopes that this dead saint will bring them healing. As we didn't have any desire to be healed, we drove up. In every conceivable space, coins and Orthodox bracelets and necklaces were deposited to be a further insurance that their prayers would be answered. And there was one small room full of lit, beeswax candles in various sizes that were also related to prayers.

We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the monastery, so we only have these two. Halfway down the mountain there are many little trinket vendors who sell icons, jewelry and Ostrog souvenirs to the pilgrims and tourists who flock there.

No comments: