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Essay about the church of Virgin Mary the Deep, Asenovgrad, Bulgaria, European Heritage Days

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Essay about the church of Virgin Mary the Deep, Asenovgrad, Bulgaria, European Heritage Days

……When one enters in such a church as Virgin Mary the Deep, named Deep due to the fact that it is dug into the ground, what he discovers is not only the unique objects like the great golden candlesticks dated back to 1815, which can’t be seen anywhere but in the Rila monastery, the woodcarving and icons, it is the atmosphere that he feels. An atmosphere that has deeply hidden the faith, the gratitude and happiness of all people, who prayed and received what they had prayed for, all what they needed. This church has preserved the most valuable wealth – the grandeur of Bulgarian talent, spirit and dauntless faith, the expression of which is the miraculous icon. If one stares, he will see the numerous sheets of paper in the woodcarving below the icon, all with messages, wishes, thankfulness and prayers, as if in the base of the icon they weave into these refined figures, thus setting a stable base of the faith, that could save every soul.
...Not only saints have visited the church of the Virgin Mary the Deep, anyway this is not so important. Each single man has to discover his own way, his own church and icon, his guarding angel. Asenovgrad resembles the island of the blessed – with so many churches, chapels and monasteries, it is a symbol of faith, of the spiritual, of hope.

Author: Velichka Jordanova Bozhkova, Asenovgrad, Bulgaria


Early morning time. Mild, good wheater, still a bit dark. I dress myself quickly and go to the church for the Sunday service. I have always considered this old- fashioned, something that’s not for me, as it is rather uninteresting, even a bit boring, but the very moment I stepped on the church threshold, I lost my breath – the atmosphere was really magic. While listening to the mass, my attention was riveted by the numerous icons and details, radiating strange light, soft and at the same time piercing. I left the church with the feeling that I have taken part of that magic into my heart. I have kept the warmth in my soul for hours, even for days….
…..Starting to see and realize the beauty of the church, I was not able to relish, I was constantly walking around, staring at details, trying to find out the true, important things, so as to feel the church itself. I know that there are still lots of details to be discovered, I spite of the numerous walks, but what I became aware of made me shudder – I found out how practical and automated the man of the 21st century is. Everything for him is literal and has one single meaning. Such notions as church, faith, God are for him worn-out cliches, lost their sense. In this state of awareness, I discovered that the church is not God’s temple, it is rather a sacred place, where one can find peace, as by constructing such buildings, people have put not only their money, labor and skills, but something much more precious – their faith, hope, spirit. To be in a temple, created hundreds of years ago, painted by prominent artists, and visited by saints – this is something not a t all boring or uninteresting….

 Author: Darina Dimitrova Gadzhurova, Asenovgrad, Bulgaria


….. An icon hanging on the wall. It was big, beautifully painted, with luminous colors, a bit shabby, still strong as feeling, impact. It has a thick wooden frame with unique elegant carvings. There were winded garlands of white, fresh carnations around the icon. But the image of the icon was pale … deadly pale. As if the moon was coloring both the image and the carnations around. The big eyes, bowed down to the hands, were looking gently, still tough the God’s son. Below this icon a poor woman was dropped on her knees….
……As if coming from nowhere, a shadow, wrapped in the cloak of night, appeared behind her. The face of the shadow looked at the icon, as if looking in a mirror. He stretched his hand to touch the colors, it was impossible, with each centimeter getting closer, the hand was more and more trembling. He took it away from the icon and put it on the arm of the poor praying lady. In this instant, the lady felt a warm wave, passing through her body, the way the melting wax of the candle glides along its smooth surface….
……When the preacher entered in the morning, he was amazed by the picture. The woman had sunk below the icon with half-closed from fatigue eyelids, holding tight the blood-stained cross. While the carnations around the icon had become deep red.

Author: Venelina Vassileva Simeonova, Asenovgrad, Bulgaria

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