Celebration in Musutiste

The monastery of The Holy Trinity was built in the fourteenth century on the Rusinica hill, located two miles south of Mušutište. The site is particularly impressive as it overlooks a wide valley to the south, with wooded hills that rise from the dense vegetation north of it.

Just past the monastery, a spring of fresh and pure water creates another pleasant space. In the church itself, a Book of Commemorations – Pomjanik – has been kept, preserved (the volume contains all the names, mentioned in prayers during a liturgy) and updated since 1465. Its historical value is priceless since it maps all civic communities that have been inhabiting this area since the XV century.

The Monastery treasury further contains a XIV or XV century manuscript of the Acts of Apostles (the fifth book of the New Testament), as well as hundreds of books and a valuable collection of the XIX and XX icons (from 1868 to 1985).

All This Does Not Exist Anymore

In the second half of June 1999, after the arrival of the German contingency of KFOR, Albanian extremists attacked the Monastery depriving it of all its riches; ​​between July 10th and 17th, the entire monastic complex was totally destroyed by sophisticated military explosives.

Nothing remained of the library, monastic dormitories, the church itself and its valuable icons.

The monastic community of nuns who resided in the monastery was shattered. Some nuns were transferred to the Končulj Monastery in Gračanica, while others moved to Montenegro.

Mušutište maintains strong links with Italy, since Fabio Maniscalco, a renowned archeologist, active in protecting cultural heritage within war zones, has been particularly fond of the monastery. The destruction of the Monastery had a great impact on Mr. Maniscalco. His beloved ancient texts were reduced to ashes while the monastery’s desecrated cemetery stood as a silent witness of the brutal violence that led to the Monastery’s destruction. He strived to rebuild the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in an attempt to reinvent it as a symbol of hope that should always prevail over barbarism, only to be forced to abandon the project in 2008 after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, caused by an extended exposure to depleted uranium.

We are certain Fabio would have loved today's celebration; Fathers Peter, Jeremiah and Isaiah of the Dečani Monastery have been celebrating the Monastery’s Protector Saint’s Day by serving a Holy Liturgy in the presence of a courageous and numerous group of believers who returned for the occasion to the lawn where the church once stood from Serbia proper under a strict armed escort.