Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery

Wellkome to “Varnentsi” Family Hotel – village Borovo
At that time, Boris III reigned in Bulgaria, whose sister princess Evdokia got ill from incurable disease. The Tsar tried everything to help her, but it was in vain. One day he talked to brother Yordancho, who advised Boris to bring his sister to Cross forest. Accompanied by her court people, the princess went and spends the night there, and when she woke up in the morning she was completely healthy again.”How can I thank God for this kindness?” – asked the Tsar. Brother Yordancho advised him to erect on this place a metal cross that should weigh 33 kilograms – the number of years of the Christ’s age. It was decided a bigger metal cross to be made, that weighs 66 kilograms – twice as big. Thus in 1936, the cross was sent to Asenovgrad and accompanied by brother Yordancho in a carriage along with military and many Christians. On the morning, carrying the cross by hand, the people headed to Cross forest. They arrived there after midday. As they were wondering where to put it, brother Yordancho noticed that a Christian woman carried two pigeons as a gift to Jesus Christ. He took the two birds, prayed and let a pigeon to fly. It flied to east and landed on a nearby hill. They erected the cross there.

When he let the second pigeon, it flew to the west – in the opposite direction and stopped on a rock, past the meadow. They started to dig there and found a spring, from which a healing holy water began to flow. From this day on, Christians and Bulgarian Mohammedans started to honour the Holy Cross, visiting this place regularly, and to drink from the holy water from the spring gaining strength and healing. It didn’t took so long before priest Koshelev, along with the churchwardens from the Borovo village, situated three kilometers from the Cross peak, decided to excavate the remains of the old monastery, and found three crosses made of travertine (a special rock used in construction of ancient temples). There were wax drops clearly visible on the crosses. They were sent for examinations, but to this day no one knows what happened to the crosses. In 1956 priest Koshelev, together with brother Yordancho and builders from Borovo started to build a small church which they called “Holy Trinity”. Ordered by the Bulgarian Patriarch Cyril, the church was sanctified by Bishop Stephen vicar of Plovdiv, and later by the bishop of Tarnovo. People started to gather from all over the country and once again humble housing for accommodation had to be built from the old monastery stones.

Difficult years came again. During the totalitarian time, statesmen chosed the place for a reserve (a hunting place). And as it was near the state residence “Kormisosh”, they strictly forbidden the worshippers to come here. With the Cross day approaching, troops guarded all the roads and paths to the hill. But the Christians still found the way to the Holy Cross, passing through pathless places with faith and will to worship. Not until 1988, the patriot Rhodope native and good Christian Petar Todorov from Smolyan managed to get a permission from Todor Zhivkov for a free visitations and adorations at Cross forest. Plovdiv’s bishop Arsenii established and blessed a church board, and appointed for a priest the clergyman Vasilii Arininski.

4th of April, 1988, is the day on which His Eminence, Plovdiv’s bishop Arsenii, appointed me for Head of the “Holy Trinity” monastery at Cross forest priest Arininski. We started a foundation “Cross forest” with a church board of 10 members. The small church “Holy Trinity” quickly became too small to accommodate the hundreds of worshipers and we began doing the service outdoors at the meadow. At Cross forest, adoration gives not only the Christians but Bulgarian muslims as well who honour the holy cross and the holy water from the well near the church. The second part of the monastery was built by workmen from the village of Momchilovtsi – religious and honest men. The whole construction was finished in 1995, and on 22th of September 1995, the church was sanctified by the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox church.

On 22nd of October 1994, the cross that stood there for the last 50 years, at cross forest went missing. God is merciful. Seven months after the ravishment, the cross was found. The shepherd from the village of Belina, pastured his herd half a kilometer from the Crossed hill. But as the cattle grazed, suddenly they rushed to the nearby pine-tree wood. The shepherd followed them in a surprise to find out what did actually scare them. The cross were welded and situated again at Cross forest. his holy place does not tolerate violations. Soon after the cross had been returned, a small note was thrown at the father in whom the following was written: “We, who tooked the cross, there were three of us. Our families fall into misfortunes, the other two died. I didn’t want to follow their fate. I’ve returned the cross and I beg you for forgiveness …”

Gradually the life at Cross forest revived. The abbot of the monastery organized the service, made strong speeches and preached. He was a priest and a psychotherapist, a mentor whose words encouraged the people in despair. God seeing the achievements of priest Arininski and the faith of the hundreds of suffering people sent them his Holy Bless. The time has come, when many people start talking about the miracles of Cross forest.