HODOS – BODROG SAINT MONASTERY (short history)
The Hodos – Bodrog monastery is one of the oldest monastic settlement in our country.
It is situated at a distance of 15 km from Arad city, on the inferior course of Mures.
According to an old local tradition, it is said that the monastery would be a foundation of the surrounding believers. The tradition says that a bull from the herd of a pastor revealed from an earth mould the Saint Virgin and Baby Jesus Miracle Making Icon.
In order to confirm the tradition, even today it is kept, in the monastery’s church, the head of the bull that discovered the icon, as well as the Saint Virgin Miracle Making Icon.
The first documentary attestation about the existence of the monastery is from 1177, and from the XI century we have the information from the local historians, which talk about the existence of some “Greek monks” (orthodox), at Hodos – Bodrog, even from the XI century.
We have other certifications from various documents dated: 1213, 1233, 1278, 1293, with some derivations of the name Hodos . In the year 1446 it is generalized de denomination Bodrog , and in the year 1784 the both name appear together: Hodos – Bodrog.
The present church dates from the second half of the XIV century, being build in conch byzantine style, from stone and roman brick. The interior is embellished with “a fresco” painting, from the year 1658, by the painter Nicodim Diaconul. Restorations of the painting were made in the years 1938 – 1940 by the painters At. Damian and C. Cenan, and between 2009 – 2010 be the restorers Adriana Scarlatescu and Marius Oprea. The furniture and the iconostasis were carved in the year 1940 by the abbot Ieronim Balintoni.
The exterior of the church is plastered on three sides, the north wall wasn’t plastered. It is decorated with exterior niches, some of them being painted “a fresco” by the painter E. Profeta in the year 1968.
At the end of the century XIX it was still visible on the north wall the inscription “Hodos – abbot Mihail 1523”, and on the south wall, in a niche it is mentioned the year of a restauration – 1776.
The present door frame is from 1766 (the year is graved above the doors) , and on two stones from the exterior of the right niche the following engravings can be seen: “1742 Nicolae Ioanovici I wrote here” and “Ioan Dregoevici Romanian believer (pravoslavnic)”.
From 1790 until 1976 the church had also a closed veranda, rebuilt in 2000.
Along the history a series of personalities helped at the persistence of this monument: Sava Brancovici – 1607; Sofronie, bishop of Lipova and Gyula; Isaia Diacovici – 1690; Eugeniu de Savoya, which offered protection to the monastery in the year 1716; the protopsalter monk Naum Ramniceanu – 1788; Nicolae Iorga – 1906 and numerous others.
From the old buildings it is kept the bell tower, the abbey’s building and a part of the wall premises, on the north side.
In the XVIII century, the youngsters that wanted to become priests did their apprenticeship, being noticed magister Timotei of Hodos – 1714, as well as the archimandrites Gheorghe and Vicentiu. In the same place the peasants children from the neighbor villages have learned writing and reading.
The monastery also posses a valuable collection of antique religious art.
In the last years reparations were made at the entire monastery complex, a new precinct was created , a bell tower and an entrance gate.
In the present the monastery has a number of 25 inhabitants.
Protosinghel Grigorie Timis