The St. Michael’s Convent in Pelageevka
Here you can find the story about one of the most interesting and unusual monasteries in Ukraine. It’s like a box full of treasures, disappeared shrines, somebody’s secrets and true wonders.
On the territory of the unique regional landscape park “Priingulsky” the one of the most beautiful churches is situated – St. Michael’s (Pelageevsky) Temple. And the convent is situated here as well. This man-made miracle remains us of the Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow, appeared on the bank of the Ingul (Inhul) river in the early XX century. The process of building took eight years, and in 1904 the temple was consecrated. The history of the church it is very unusual. Collegiate Councillor Michael Durilin and cornet, engineer Andrew Durilin, the sons of a merchant Isidor Durilin, following the will of their father, decided to build a temple in memory of his mother Pelageya who died young.
Everything here was done with love: the red brick church of 47 meters height crowned with 12 gilded cupolas, crosses was decorated with narrow strips of faceted mirrors that glittered for many miles. Colorful stained-glass windows and 12 bells were made by best Ukrainian masters. The iconostasis was made of special tiles from Germany… The walls of the building were very strong because of special mixture made of egg yolks. Later this would save the church for future. And the 12th cross could not be removed in spite of attempts of some atheists.
In 1932 the dean of the church finished the last service after which the period of 60 troubled years came. It was the period of neglect, destruction, abuse of shrines. The body of the temple was wounded by the shell. It’s the scar that the Second World War has left. The temple stood.
This sacred place became a granary, peeling mill worked here. And in 1994 the temple reborn.
The temple shines again with gilded domes and mirror crosses made by masters of New Bug and Mykolaiv (Mykolayiv, Nikolayev). Restoration work is still in process.
Experienced pilgrims, visited monasteries in Ukraine, say that this place is special. Its energy influences people and gives them its wonders. The icons streamed myrrh and revive here. People full of contrition find forgiveness, the one who suffers finds healing…
This church celebrates its holidays three times a year: October 21 – the day of St. Pelagia, September 1 – the memory of Andrei Stratelates, November 21 – Remembrance Day of St. Archangel Michael. Mother Seraphim, nuns and novices of the monastery keep open house for lots of people from different corners of Ukraine.
June 23, 2012.
Two years has passed since our last visit to Pelageevka. We were glad to see the territory of the convent. And we were surprised. Restoration of the main building of the famous temple is almost finished. Gilded cupolas and smooth crosses on the top were shining in the sun. The building has changed a little and now the big restoration started inside of the temple. Anyway the small part of the beautiful church works for visitors. Traditionally people can buy here icons, literature, silver-work, holy water, etc. But we were greatly interested in a drink called “Kvass” made by nuns. Kvass is a traditional Slavic freshener but receipt can vary. And nuns’ kvass perfectly pleased us and the group of pilgrims.
After visit to convent we went for picnic. We decided to stop near the river not far from the convent. Today the territory is rather known among people who look for calm and good for fishing. But we were lucky to find a good place to stay and to swim in clean waters of Ingul River and also it was excellent for photo hiking. It was a perfect trip and we were going to visit Pelageevka again as soon as possible.
June 30, 2012.
We visited our favorite Pelageevka again. Of course we visited the Convent, admiring the beauty of the reborning temple, new convent buildings, incredible beauty of roses that grow near the road leading to the temple. Beautiful and peaceful place. We spend some time sitting on the bench near the temple, making photos, admiring and keeping peaceful quiet. Pacification.
Without fail, we bought a couple of bottles of the kvass made by nuns. And some time later we went down to the river. Every visit to Pelageevka is perfect for us.