Temple Chapel, St. Ivan Rilski


Temple Chapel “St. Ivan Rilski” is located in the lower end of the village, at the yard of Julko and Maria Palovi, who are the basic initiators for its building. Since 2005 it has existed as an active spiritual centre. The temple is open for visits everyday, from sunrise to sunset. Everyday, here, pass many people – Bulgarians as well as foreigners. The interest of people is bred by the legends about the miracles, which happen and they happen on that place.

In the past, at these places, were three villages – Middle, Lower and Upper Lipnitsa. There was a temple between the Middle and Upper parts, which was named after St. Ivan Rilski, the Wonder worker. When the Turks seized this region, the villages as well as the church were destroyed.

When some ones said to the Palovi’ family that there had been a temple at that place, which had been named after St. Ivan RIlski, they did not believe. But then, they started reading the Holy Scriptures and saint’s life books and realized that they were wrong.

Maria Palova tells us about: “I realize that there are energetic zones at this ground, which functionate. Sometimes they are close, after that they start again. The temple “St. Ivan Rilski” is exactly such energetic zone.”

The place where temple was built is somehow special by itself. There you can hear the bent voices’ sound. It is so sheltered that someway seems the time stops. Many years ago the old owners tried digging a draw-well, an accident happened and they stop all work. Long years after that the place was untouched, even by the trees.

In 1993 Maria fell ill with malignant disease. She came home in Gorna Lipnitca for preparing to depart from this world. During the next twenty days she had aches, which signed the last phase of her illness. But a miracle happened and the aches start abating and finally went away. Even the doctors couldn’t diagnose logically that and they said it was a miracle.

Even though Maria suffered a lot – radiation treatment, new surgery operations, her right hand was completely crippled. One day when she felt really sick, on that place where now the chapel is, Maria got vision of something. “I saw St. Ivan Rilski, a young man, flooded with sunlight. He gave me something warm, which was as big as a wall-nut; in my crippled hand and then it started moving. Then, I could not realize how it’s possible.

I thought that one of my relatives provoked this vision for my believing that I will live.” In 2000 a native woman in the village called Maria and went to her. She told her that it was time that Maria should begin reconstruction of the temple. In that precise time the family got many troubles, but they tried to convince her that everything would be alright. In the same year, in winter Maria got flue and as a complexion her right part of her body started to pain. She remembered the miracle place. Outside was terribly chilly, but Maria did not give up. Fifteen minutes later after she went home the pain went away, completely. Every time she got collapse, she made the same thing and up to summer her healthy problem was completely forgotten. As her husband saw that he believed in the cure power at that place.

In the end of 2002 she was diagnosed of having a malignant tumor. In the spring of 2003 she had to go for a surgery operation. Maria and Julko Palovi worried and they decided to start the building of the temple in thought of avoiding the operation, if they implement the decrees for the temple reconstruction.

The first man, who helped absolutely free, was Prof. Margarita Koeva, who conducts a team for restoration of church properties. On the Day of St. Spas (40 days after Easter) 2003 the foundation of the building was laid. Maria was side by side with the workmen. And when in autumn she went for her operation the tumor, which had been growing, proved gone away completely. Up to now it is forgotten.

It was still before the building of the Temple Chapel “St. Ivan Rilski” when another miracle happened. A boy, who was totally desperate and had made decision to die, came there. But he heard about how that place helped its owner before and he decided to go there. He lighted a candle, although workmen still were working. On the other day he went back home and told how something unexpected happened – his problem was solved, although it seemed to be impossible a day ago.

The chapel “St. Ivan Rilski” was sanctified on November 6, 2005 by the bishop of Turnovo, Gregorii. “He came in and started to sing. All week before this date the weather was very nasty, but on the same day the sun was shining “, tells Maria. According to the legends and traditions it has always had a snake around “St. Ivan Rilski”. Thus, around the temple, immediately after its sanctifying, a snake begins to live here and she is a guard of the holy place.

In the temple nowadays people christen their children, some got married, and the worshippers all over Bulgaria came here, especially young people, who want talking about spirituality.

Common Idea to the Mural Painting of Temple Chapel, St. Ivan Rilski

For the walls of the temple chapel are provided 6/six/ frescoes that present 6/six/ scenes of the St. Ivan Rilski’s life. For the research of the saint’s life was used the book “The Rilski saint and his cloister” by Ivan Duichev, written in 1947, edited in 1990 by “Interpres -67” Publishing House.

It takes about 1 /one/ year for working on each fresco, i.e. 6 / six / frescoes – 6 / six/ years.

The preparation of the painting of a concrete fresco begins with a research of the concrete part of the St. Ivan Rilski’s life. Real places in Bulgaria, scenes and objects are marked. Then, the places are visited and “tracks” of Ivan Rilski are searched by taking pictures of landscapes, caves, rocks, trees, flowers. The pictures are classified in albums and are used for models in the mural painting. After the concrete place research and gathering enough picture material a draft of the common plan is made on a paper. After that the draft is thrown over the wall. In the working process each sketch is detailed. Fixed moments of the frescoes are painted in precisely fixed dates. Each one of the frescoes is surrounded by frieze with stylize signs. The frescoes are painted with acryl paints.

The ceiling of the temple will represents a starry map that will present the constellations of the night sky over Gorna Lipnitsa on August 17 on the eve of August 18. On August 18 is the temple holiday of the temple chapel – the date when the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates the St. Ivan Rilski Assumption. Each constellation will be painted and its name will be written. The technical time for the preparation, the elaboration of the projects / the constellation maps, which are visible in Gorna Lipnitsa on that date/ and the painting of the ceiling is 3 /three/ years.

To a date August 26, 2009 the work on the third fresco is going over – it presents third scene of St. Ivan Rilski’s life.

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