Nuns preserve the art of making bishop’s mitres in North Macedonia

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Debar, North Macedonia, June 22 (EFE) .- Just over two hours from Skopje, the monastery of Rajcica emerges as one of the rustic treasures of North Macedonia. Not only is this place of worship dedicated to prayer but also famous for its traditional manufacture of bolsters.

“Our crowns,” says Sister Efimija, one of the nuns of the monastery, in reference to the mitres, one of the most significant symbols of the Orthodox Christian faith.

This ceremonial headdress is worn by bishops and patriarchs of Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and some Lutheran churches, as well as Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

The classic miter of the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches takes the form of the closed imperial crown of the end of the Byzantine Empire. The crown form, however, was not used by bishops until after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The oriental headgear features a fully enclosed bulbous crown, usually in gold and damask fabric.

The tab usually has four icons attached to it; Christ, the Theotokos, John the Baptist and the Cross.

“Our miters are worn by archbishops in the United States, Russia, Africa, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Serbia and most often the Greek Orthodox Church because of the way our mitres are made, with the sumptuous Byzantine style, which is cherished in the Greek Orthodox Church, ”explains Efimija.

She emphasizes that the whole fellowship is involved in the preparation, the drawing, the embroidery on a special machine and the insertion of the precious stones into the bishop’s bolsters.

“This is our main wish and our greatest existence here at the monastery. We have created more than 1,600 miters, each of them is unique because each bishop has his own style, his own requests and we try to meet their requests ”, she concludes.

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