Places of interest28 November 2021

Dobrudja, the charming land bordered by the Danube and the Black Sea, and its treasures: Saint Andrew’s Cave, the oldest Christian church in Romania

Located near Ion Corvin village in Constanta County, in Scythia Minor, the old Roman province, the cave became a place of prayer and worship around 60 AD

Saint Andrew’s Cave, Constanta County

Saint Andrew’s Cave, Constanta County

Saint Andrew’s Cave is part of a string of sacred settlements located on both banks of the Danube, places where Andrew the Apostle built churches and christened locals. According to the believers, the cave would be some sort of a Bethlehem of Romania, because once the First-Called Apostle of Jesus Christ lived here, having reached the lands of our Geto-Dacian ancestors on a mission to preach the Gospel.

Located at the foot of a mountain covered by forests, the cave carved into the mountain was transformed into an actual church. A big rock, worn down over time, it seems, served as the altar of the place of worship. The rock has the Holy Cross engraved on all its sides.

In the pronaos there is a bed, carved into the rock, which is believed to have been the rest bed of Andrew the Apostle. Any pilgrim who wishes to understand the sacraments of the apostolic faith may rest on this bed.

Several particular icons may be admired under the light of the candelabra and lit candles. The altar is replaced by a very large icon of Saint Andrew the Apostle, in front of which the believers say their prayers.

About 200 meters away from the cave, on another slope of the mountain, the remains of an old cell, carved into the stone, are still visible - resting places for the Apostle’s disciples. The cave was discovered in 1918 by a lawyer from Constanta. He had had several dreams where he was requested to search for the cave where Andrew the Apostle took shelter. After several searches, the lawyer eventually found it.

The cave was surrounded by trees, which covered the very small entrance and the inside was invaded by weeds. After the cave was cleaned, a wing of monk cells was built for the monks who conducted prayers in the cave. The church was not subject to many changes, besides the 4-meter-high tower and the entrance wall. Nowadays, the cave is part of the “Saint Andre's Cave” Monastery, which has 3 subordinated churches.

If you are in the area, do not hesitate to visit this place of worship and pilgrimage, a proof of faith from the very beginning of Christianity.

Sources: https://www.crestinortodox.ro/biserici-manastiri/manastirea-pestera-sfantului-apostol-andrei-67904.html 

Elena Radu

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