Chilandar Miracles
This is the web site about
the Monastery of Chilandar, the
most valuable spiritual treasury
of the Serbian people.


Monastery Chilandar
Chilandar Miracles
Chilandar Icons
Icons and Frescos
Textile With Ornamentation
Nemanjic  Dinasty
Serbian Church
Monastery Chilandar
on Holy Mountain of Athos
in this, 1998 year the Chilandar Monastery celebrates its 800th Anniversary as the Serbian Orthodox Monastery

Related links:

Serbian Orthodox Church   
Monastery Studenica
Kosovo Heritage, Kosovo Monasteries



grcki.jpg (1484 bytes)   srpski.jpg (1615 bytes)



This site is powered by RISJAK

cudo.jpg (33081 bytes)
The icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa (of the Three Hands) is the most revered one in Chilandar, and the most significant icon for the Serbian people. According to legend, it belongs to the icons painted by the Apostle and Evangelist St. Luke, the first Christian painter. There is a painting of St. Nicholas on the reverse side of the icon. The icon earned its name in the 8th century. It was the time of the iconoclast fury. One of the greatest opponents to it was John Damascene, at that time still living the secular life. Because of his writing against the iconoclasts, his right hand was cut off. Holding the hand in his healthy one, John Damascene prayed the whole night through before the Holy Virgin’s icon, asking her to heal his hand, so that he could go on writing about the Holy icons veneration. And the miracle happened. Out of gratitude, the saint had a hand done in silver, and added to the icon.  
After having been miraculously healed, John Damascene entered a monastic order. He spent his monastic life in the Lavra of St. Sava of Jerusalem. He brought along the miracle-working icon of his Benefactor, the Virgin of the Three Hands. There were two more relics in the Lavra: the miracle-working icon of the Virgin Galaktotrophousa (She Who Suckles) and pateritsa, the episcopal staff of St. Sava of Jerusalem. The legend has it that on his deathbed this saint foretold that a royal son of the same name, Sava, would come to the monastery, and that at the moment of his paying tribute to the tomb the tied up staff will fall to the ground. He bequeathed both monastery relics to the future monk with the name Sava, as his blessing. John Damascene added his own bequest, that the royal son should be presented with the icon ofthe Virgin Troyeruchitsa.
Five centuries later the prophecy of St. Sava of Jerusalem came true. The Serbian monk Sava arrived to Lavra. While he was paying tribute to the saint’s tomb, the episcopal staff fell down. The miracle repeated the next day, all doubts of the monks gone. They knew for sure then that the Serb Sava was the one they had been waited for.
The miracle-working icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa was cherished on the courts of all the rulers of the Nemanyich dynasty. In the late 14th century it was transferred from the court of the Tzar Dushan the Mighty to the monastery Studenica. In the early 15th century, Studenica became the target of the Turkish invaders. Advised that the Turks were  approaching the monastery, the monks quickly took out all of the valuable objects. They tied the icon of the Virgin Troyerichitsa to the pack-saddle of a donkey, and let it go wherever the Virgin led him. The donkey passed through Serbia and Macedonia, to arrive to Mount Athos. It stopped in the vicinity of Chilandar. Seeing the donkey and understanding what was going on, the monks from the monastery hurried to  meet it. When they took the icon off the donkey, the animal dropped dead.
At the end of the 15th century, Chilandar had a problem regarding election of the new abbot. Numerous monks of Serbian, Russian, Greek and Bulgarian origin could not come to a decision. Then, during an evening service, the voice of the Holy Virgin was clearly heard coming from the icon, saying that she was their abbess. The next morning, during the morning service, the icon was found on the abbatial throne.
Thinking that it was a trick, the monks returned it to the altar. But the same thing repeated the next day. The monks understood then that they should not continue with the election or move the icon from the abbatial throne. Thus the Virgin Troyeruchitsa became the abbess and patron of Chilandar. In the year 1905, at the request of the Headquarters of the Russian Tzar Army, then at war with Japan, a copy of the icon Troyeruchitsa was made and sent to the battlefield, to help the Orthodox Russian army. The Russians indeed started to win the battles. After the peace was signed between the two empires, the copy of the icon was returned to Chilandar.
In the 90s of the 20th century, the magnificent copy of the Virgin Troyerchitsa arrived to Serbia. It is displayed in the Temple of St. Sava, on the Vrachar plateau, on a special proskynetarion in the nave, next to the abbatial throne. There is an ever-burning big sanctuary lamp in front of the icon, the oil of which has already healed many a sick person. The icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa is the first Athonite relic which has been taken out of the Holy Mountain, against the canonical rules. In 1993 it was displayed in the church of St. Demetrios in Salonika, and was visited by more than a million of believers. It performed another of its many miracles there, giving sight to a 33-year-old man who had been blind ever since his birth.


The icon of the Virgin Not-Burning-in-Fire remained, as its name suggests, untouched in a great fire. The premises where she stood were burnt to the ground. The sooty icon was taken out of the ashes and put into the altar area of the Chilandar katholikon, where it still stands.
The Virgin Galaktotrophousa (She Who Suckles) is one of rare icons. It depicts the Holy Virgin suckling the Infant Christ.
This icon originally stayed in the monastery of St. Sava Consecrated in Jerusalem. Together with his staff it was bequeathed to the future Sava, the royal son who would come to the monastery as a simple pilgrim. It was expected that at the moment of his paying respect to the tomb of Sava of Jerusalem the tied up Episcopal staff would fall down. The prophecy came true when the Serbian monk Sava arrived to the monastery in the 13th century.
St. Sava the Serb was presented with the Episcopal staff of St. Sava of Jerusalem, the icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa formerly belonging to John Damascene, and the icon of the Virgin Galaktotrophousa.
cudo4.jpg (17469 bytes)
Upon his return to Mount Athos, Sava displayed the icon of the Virgin Galaktotrophousa in the kellion in Karyes. On that occasion, a precedent in Orthodoxy occurred. Namely, the icon was placed to the left of the Royal Doors, on the place belonging to Christ.
cudo5.jpg (20285 bytes)  
The icon of the Virgin Popadiki (Popska of the Priest) is a procession icon. On its reverse side there is a painting of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, by one of the best painters of the time. The same painter executed in 1360 the Great Deesis on the iconostasis of the Chilandar church, as well as the miniatures of the Evangelists in the Roman’s Gospel. The Virgin Popadiki was repainted in the  16th or 17th centuries, while the  Presentation of the Virgin has retained its original form.




The icon of the Virgin Akathist is displayed on the altar screen of the Chilandar katholikon. Around the icon are painted small scenes illustrating the whole Akathistos Hymn, the hymn to the Virgin Mary.
cudo7.jpg (18366 bytes)



The icon of the Virgin Eccleseiarchou (of the Sacristan) was named after the sacristan (eccleseiarchon) whom she had taught a lesson. According to legend, this sacristan was somewhat negligent. He was supposed to see to it that the sanctuary lamp continuously burns in front of the Holy Virgin’s icon. Its flame often went out because of the draught. Once when he was lighting it up, unsuitable words slipped off the sacristan’s lips. He was struck dumb at that very moment, and the power of speech was returned to him only after his many prayers and tears. Legend has it that he became the most zealous servant of the Temple of God.



cudo8.jpg (17712 bytes)
psk001.jpg (9944 bytes)


The icon of the Virgin Hodegetria (The Virgin of Guidance) is a mosaic icon. It belonged to the first Serbian saint, Symeon Nemanya. On his deathbed he asked his son, monk Sava, to bring the icon to him, and he was singing psalms before it until he expired. Today the icon is displayed in the central part of the treasury of the new Chilandar library. It is in front of this icon that monks pray and ask forgiveness for every action that is being carried out in this part of the monastery. In 1996 a copy of the Virgin Hodegetria was made for the needs of the Historical Museum of Serbia.


According to Athonite monastic tradition, the End of Time will come when the three miracles of the Holy Mountain vanish: the miracle-working icon of the Virgin Portaotissa from Iveron, the Vine of St Symeon Nemanya and the Well of St Sava the Serb, both belonging to Chilandar.


The miracle-working icons are specially revered on the Holy Mountain. Regarding  the number of miracle-working icons.  Chilandar ranks the first in the Christian world. Each icon depicts the patron of Chilandar and Mount Athos, the Holy Virgin.

detalj_hor.gif (4234 bytes)

Back Next

etext.gif (10341 bytes)
Your questions or suggestions please
This web pages are dedicated to the thousands of Serbian orphans, the innocent victims of man's inhumanity to man