Arrival and departure traditions
Visiting the monastery should not be reserved only for the holidays. It is open to all people at any time of day or night. Just the travel to the Upper monastery is a sacred journey. Believers are expected to walk barefooted from the Lower to the Upper monastery but many can be seen making the assent on their knees. From the monastery one must take holy water, oil, tamjan, anaphora or a small package of icons, or a cross weaved of wheat. With the items, people that could not make the journey can be touched. In front of the relics of this saint many come for spiritual and physical healing, and cases of miracles are well documented even today.
Visitor can write wishes for the living and the dead on a small piece of paper that the priests will read during liturgy in front of God and Saint Basil. Next to the monastery is a small room intended for burning candles in honor of the living and the dead. The candles for the living are on one side of the room, and the dead on another as documented on the wall of the room.
Visitors to the monastery can, before they enter the area where the body of Saint Basil is located, leave small items in a basket to the left of the entrance way (such as towels, soap, oils and other small items) as gifts to the monks that live at the monastery. In the entrance room of the Upper monastery there is a well of holy water, and it is recommended that this water is taken home as a protector of the home and family.
Like in all other churches of all faiths a monetary donation can always be given to the monastery that is used to help poor people.
There is now the opportunity to spend the night at the monastery with an adjacent building that was created in the same style. Only a bed, blanket and pillow are available in the humble rooms, but the secret advice of the priest is also available.
When the name of the Saint is mentioned it is a custom to stand up, make a cross and say the words “Slava mu i milost”.
Continue: The Stories of Miracles