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Hope for healing miracle draws crowds to Bulgaria Holy Site
afp ^ | 18 Sep 2012 | Diana Simeonova

Posted on 09/18/2012 3:50:12 AM PDT by Cronos

Hopeful eyes look on as thousands of candles and the lighted crosses of a dozen tiny chapels dot the chilly nightscape at Krastova Gora, a holy site high up in Bulgaria's Rhodope mountains.

"I've had a stroke. That's why I came here. For help!" said Yanko Dimitrov, 65, one of the many who have come to the sacred site.

.. But the big day is September 14 -- the Orthodox Christian feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. According to local legend, spending the night out here on the eve of the feast can do miracles and cure all illness.

Mariana Vladova, 51, recovering from a complicated brain surgery, brought along a friend with muscle function loss after a stroke, hoping to help her regain her health and spirit. "I am no devout believer, you know. But the first time I came here I saw with my own eyes the face of Jesus forming in the sky over the big chapel," she said.

.. The site was apparently uncovered in 1933 when a strongly religious man from the nearby village of Borovo saw a cross of light in the sky over the hills, and had a vision telling him there used to be a monastery there that held remains of the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified.

After Evdokia, the frail sister of Bulgarian King Boris III, said she felt great relief from spending the night out there, the grateful monarch commissioned a metal cross to adorn the mystic hill.

A small chapel was then built as the fame of Krastova Gora -- Bulgarian for "forest of the cross" -- spread, and a growing number of miraculous healing stories started to circulate.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Current Events; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bulgaria; rhodope; rhodopemountains; thrace
from the article Even under communism, when atheism was imposed and church-going was taboo, locals helped desperate people smuggle their sick children up forest paths to the sacred site.
1 posted on 09/18/2012 3:50:20 AM PDT by Cronos
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