Holy Virgin of Bezdin and religious and political program of patriarch Arsenije IV Jovanovic
Богородица бездинска и верско-политички програм патријарха Арсе IV Јовановића
AuthorsТимотијевић, Мирослав М.
Article (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
In the very center of baroque Marian religiousness was the reverence for Holy Virgin’s miracles and her miraculous icons. That is why in the churches of Karlovci Metropolitan Diocese, founded after the Great Exodus in 1690, could as well be seen the reverence for a large number of miraculous Holy Virgin icons. The most renowned among them was the miraculous Holy Virgin of Bezdin. This icon, a replica of Holy Virgin Vladimirska, was brought from Kiev by the monk Paysiye Greek (1698-1737) in the spring of 1727. By approval of Metropolitan Mojsej Petrovic, it was temporarily placed in the Belgrade cathedral Church, and then it was moved to the renovated Vinca monastery. After the Ottoman Turks invaded Serbia again in 1739, the exiled Vinca monks found shelter in the monastery of Bezdin in Banat, taking with them the miraculous icon as well. By orders of the exiled Patriarch of Pec, Arsenije IV Jovanovic, the miraculous icon was secretly taken to Karlovci on 24 March 1743. That was the ca...use of a lengthy dispute between the Archimandrite of Bezdin, Teodosije Veselinovic, and the Patriarch Arsenije IV Jovanovic. The exiled Patriarch deemed the decision of competent authorities in favor of the monastery not to be effective in the church itself, and refused for the icon to be returned to Bezdin. Instead, it was placed in the Patriarch’s adjoining chapel of St. Trifun (Trifone), which has been called the Holy Virgin Church ever since. A complex cult was developed surrounding the icon, originating from the idea of the miraculous icon as a palladium for the entire ‘Serbian nation’, headed by with the exiled Patriarch of Pec. The meaning and significance of the cult was most logically expressed by the patriarch’s ode to the miraculous icon, which was engraved on the silver plate, mounted on the icon frame (wrought in Vienna in 1745). The adjoining chapel’s master of ceremony was the one in charge of revering the icon and rituals related to it, whose duties were specified by the Instruction issued by the Patriarch on 1 January of the same year. However, the endeavor of Patriarch Arsenije IV Jovanovic to make the Bezdin Holy Virgin into the palladium for ‘Serbian nation’ failed to have lasting results. Immediately following his death, the Bezdin Archimandrite applied to Empress Maria Therese herself, who passed a decree on 13 May 1748 that the miraculous icon should be returned to Bezdin. The majority of episcopes invited to Synod in order to chose a new head of the church were at first against the returning of the icon, which can be seen in the minutes from the meeting held on 2 September of that year. It was only at later Synod meetings, when the Episcope of Arad, Isaija Antonovic, in whose eparchy Bezdin was situated, was chosen for the Metropolitan, that the decision for the icon to return to the monastery was reached. Before that, in accordance with the Synod decision, a copy was made, which remained in Karlovci, but the reverence of that icon failed to attain the reputation of the original one. The relocation of the miraculous icon was organized in a festive manner, with a big display of ceremony. Following the arrival of the icon in Bezdin, the true escalation of its cult started, equaled by no other miraculous icon in Karlovci Metropolitan Diocese. The following decades saw the printing of several graphical sheets with the representation of the true image of the Bezdin miraculous icon, and its replicas were ordered in large numbers for parochial and monastery churches in the whole of Karlovci Metropolitan Diocese. The icon was in the monastery until World War I, when Bezdin was no longer within the borders of the newly founded Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Therefore, Episcope Georgije Letic first transferred it to Kikinda, then to Vrsac, where the miraculous icon is still in the adjoining chapel of the Vrsac episcopes.
U radu se istražuje priroda sukoba između patrijarha Arsenija IV Jovanovića i bratstva manastira Bezdina, koji je izbio povodom prenosa čudotvorne Bogorodičine ikone u mitropolijsko središte u Karlovcima 1743. Raspoloživi izvori pokazuju da je izbegli pećki patrijarh nameravao da od čudotvorice napravi zaštitnicu svog trona i celokupnog naciona. Zbog toga se oko njenog kulta uobličava složen barokni ritual, kojim je rukovodio dvorski sveštenik, koji je istovremeno vršio i dužnost ceremonijal majstora. Odlukom carice Marije Terezije, ikona je nakon patrijarhove smrti vraćena u manastir 1748. U isto vreme je po nalogu Sinoda napravljena kopija čudotvorne ikone, ali ona nije uspela da dostigne ugled originala.