The Sihla Monastery, a history of great hermits

Pilgrims that go to the Sihla Hemitage discover a wild and strikingly beautiful landscape, with panoramic views of the neighbouring mountains, with holy places, full of the mysterious history of the hermits who lived in need in the Sihla Mountains along the centuries. The spiritual legacy left behind by the holy priests can be found in Saint Theodora’s cave, in the small church made from a fir tree, in the sanctum under the rock, in the deserted places at Rapa lui Coroi - where the Pious Pavel the Hermit (Cuviosul Pavel Sihastrul) and Saint John the Great (Sfantul Ioan cel Minunat), Bishop of Kiev, lived, in the cottage of the great confessor Paisie Olaru, and in the surroundings of the monastery, which shelter unknown hermits’ bones. Father Cleopa has said that “in the forests of Sihla there have been approximately 35 priests and 17 nuns, that led a monkish life,” who called out prayers all their lives for the troubled people coming from the vortex of the world to seek spiritual support. Most believers come with the strong desire to find help through the prayers made in the two churches and Pious Saint Theodora’s cave. 2013 will be a jubilee for the Sihla Monastery, as it marks the celebration of 250 years since the basis of the small church was set with a piece of wood from Aga Ionita Cantacuzino Pascanu, dedicated to “Transfiguration” and 250 years since the reestablishment of the big church dedicated to “The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist”. May God guide our steps towards the holiness of life, through the mediation of the hermits who repose in this blessed land of Sihla.