Saint patron day: The Entrance into the Church of the Mary, Mother of God (November 21st)
Year of foundation: 2001
Mother Superior: Macaria Grapeanu
Cenobitic life: three nuns
Accommodation: Căuniţa Pension
It is a new monastery placed on an old hearth of the hermits from the Danube Gorge, as a mysterious sign of the Mother of God for the renewal of the spiritual life in these places and the preservation of the Orthodox Christian tradition.
The new Gornea–Sichevita Monastery was erected on an old dwelling of the hermits of the Danube Gorge. It is situated at 250 m from the Danube, at a crossroad of two roads: Orşova-New Moldova (DN 57) and Podariul Păzărişte – Gârnic (DJ 571A).
The archaeological excavations carried out on the Danube Gorge at the Căuniţa Villa Rustica revealed objects with Christian inscriptions dating back to the Roman period, the II-III centuries, being a proof of the existence of an early Christian life in these places. In 2001, the mayor of Sichevita, Gheorghe Birta, launched the idea of building a monastic settlement in the place of the former border watchtower, renewing the spiritual life on these lands, and preserving the Orthodox Christian tradition. That is how they erected the only monastery built within almost 100 km from the Danube Gorge, through a mysterious sign of the Holly Virgin, as Mother Macaria confesses:
“This monastic dwelling is a miracle of the Mother of God, whose voice I heard, I and Mother Anastasia, in the Dealu Monastery (Târgovişte), one day at noon, in 2000, while we were praying in separate cells; The Holy Virgin told us at the same time the following: “Go out of this monastery and make me a small chapel on the Danube, with seven cells, and live a hermit life!“
The true monastic life began in May 2001, when Macaria and Anastasia Grapean came to this place.
Today, everywhere in the monastery, there is an atmosphere of holiness, with the consecration of the place, on November 21st 2001, by IPS Laurenţiu Streza, the bishop of Caransebeș, on the occasion of the celebration of “The Entry of Saint Mary Mother of God into the church”, the monastery’s patronage. The new church of the monastery was built between 2003 and 2010 and has the shape of a Byzantine “cross”. Although it has only a few years of monastic life, the Gornea-Sichevita Monastery is more and more sought after by the local believers and the tourists from all over the country. Here, you will see the “Freed of waters ” at sunrise, and in the twilight, when the bells or the vesper bells are tolling repeatedly, you will see the image of the graves in the village, surrounded by river stones painted with white lime, symbolizing the crossing “border” or “customs” between earthly and eternal life:
“From the ground beneath the green grass
Up in the enlightened sky,
In a blessed place,