“The Garden of God’s Mother” at Bisericani
By Diana Ungureanu/ Chisinau / Moldova.ORG/ -- Bisericani Monastery, from Neamt County, Romania, is the monastery that was built on the place called by the Virgin Mary herself "My garden" in a miraculous appearance in the 15th century.
Bisericani Monastery is located at 12 km north-west of the city Piatra Neamt, on a plateau of Mountain Simon. In the second half of the 15th century, on this plateau, Venerable Joseph, came from the Bistrita Monastery, with his disciples, hermit monks from a Hermitage in the Jordan Valley, and built a wooden church.
In 1476, after the battle from Razboieni, the wooden church was robbed and burned by the Turks, and in 1498, burned by the Tatars. When they saw their peace troubled by frequent invasions of Pagan hordes and remaining without a church, hermit monks, headed by the abbot, Venerable Joseph, decided to go on the holy mountain Athos ("the garden of the Virgin Mary"). But, on their way they were stopped by the appearance of the Virgin Mary on a trunk of an oak. Virgin Mary told them not to go, because "here's my garden, too". The pious parents have listened the commandment and have not gone to Athos. In the oak where took place the miracle, Venerable Joseph placed an icon of the Virgin Mary, and the place is called up today "At the Sacred Icon".
Hearing about this miracle, Stephen the Great raised foundation of a stone church on the site of the old wooden church, this was dedicated to “Great Annunciation”. The construction of the church was continued by Bogdan III, the Prince of Moldavia.
The story of the Virgin Mary in an oak tree in Bisericani is recorded in the local tradition on a fresco in the chapel lifted up over the place.
The oak of the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary has been cut about three decades ago, at the commandment directrix of the TB sanatorium, which was there. It is said the directrix have been paralyzed after 40 days after the commandment.
Today over the oak, or rather what remained of the oak, there was built a potholes, where is kept the holy oak stump covered by a glass cube.
The monastery is a place of pilgrimage in the days of celebration of the Virgin Mary for faithful people that come here to worship and heal in front of the Icon Maker of Miracles that was in the oak, as a the witness of the appearance of Blessed Virgin Mary.
The distance from Chisinau to the Monastery Bisericani is 291 km.