For Serbs from around Suva Reka, Pentecost is a very special day, when they have the modest opportunity to see if only briefly their homeland, their native villages and homes--or rather, what is left of them.
This day, is the patronal feast day, or Slava as the Serbs call it, of their ancient holy shrine, the Holy Trinity Monastery, now in ruins for over a decade. The monastery had its beginnings in the fourteenth century--the height of the Nemanjić dynasty, when Kosovo and Metochia were the very heart of Serbia and the cradle of Serbian culture, history, and faith.
In 1999, before the very beginning of the war, eight nuns lived and prayed to God in the monastery of the Holy Trinity. The head of the convent was Abbess Katarina. On June 12, 1999, the sisters of the monastery and the entire Serbian population of the nearby village of Mušutište were forced to abandon their native regions to save themselves from the Albanian terror. The KLA soon burned down all the villages, along with the ancient church of the Hodigitria Mother of God (1315), and then destroyed the Holy Trinity Monastery.
Serbs have not returned since that time, but the memory of their homeland and sacred places lives on in the hearts of those “resettled” and “relocated” persons, as those who forced them out now call them.
With the blessing of Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, the brothers of Visoki Dečani Monastery have been coming here for the past few years on the day of Pentecost to cut the overgrowth of grasses and serve the Divine Liturgy under the open skies. Serbs who used to live in this region also come to pray, along with other guests.
This year, Hieromonk Petr (Rojevich) served, and Nuns Iezekieka and Jeremiah attended. After Communion and a modest repast, those who came took advantage of the opportunity to visit their forebear’s graves, and the corners and grounds so dear to their hearts.
Full photo gallery here.