Pustynki is a small village located in Mstislav district of Mogilev region. It is situated close to the border with Russia, which is only five hundred meters away. It is a remarkable place as one of the oldest monasteries in Belarus whose date of construction goes back to 1380 is located on its territory.
Assuption Monastery and its History
Pustynki village history is inextricably connected with the current history of still active Assumption Monastery. There is a beautiful legend of the blinded prince Lugven, which had a prophetic dream about this place. In the dream, the prince saw an old man, who advised him to find the source in Pustynki and bathe the eyes. Prince sought Pustynki land out, but he couldn’t find the very source for a long time. Then a local resident came to help him, and brought the blind prince to the destination. Lugven washed with miraculous water and recovered his sight after that. To his greatest surprise he recognized in his guide an old man fr om his prophetic dream. But the miracles did not end: close to the source he saw an icon. Delighted Lugven commanded to erect a monastery and chapel on that very place, wh ere the wonderful and miraculous icon of Jesus Christ was placed. This happened back in 1380, when the building was only a low wooden church.
Since those ancient times the source has never dried out and hasn’t stopped to heal. People come to it from all the corners of Belarus and the stories of its miraculous power attract believers of absolutely different faiths. Both Lutherans and Catholics, revering the sacred source and the miraculous icon, come here. One of the most surprising facts is that the water’s source temperature is constant in any season and is only 4 degrees above zero. In such water a person can die after only 5-7 minutes, but there haven’t even been cases of a cold after standing in it. Isn’t it a true miracle?
In process of time the monastery grew and enlarged, gradually becoming not just a separate temple but the whole complex of religious buildings. Over a long period of its existence the monastery has repeatedly changed owners. Until 1601 its owner was the Orthodox Church, and then the Uniate Church became the owner of the land and the monastery. In 1839, the management turned back to the Orthodox Church, this time the Russian one.
The devastating events of different ages left their mark on the wonderful place. The monastery and the complex of buildings adjacent to it collapsed to the ground more than once but always revived again. Only after the end of the Revolution it was closed, the temples were destroyed again and a school and orphanage were established in the rest of the buildings.
Another legend which dates back to the Great Patriotic War times exists among the locals. In late 1943, the image of Jesus Christ, which was not made by hand, appeared on the temple’s walls several times, foreshadowing the imminent victory over the Nazis. By the way, this image is still placed on the wall of the building, which was used as a school.
Now the temple is slowly recovering after the 20th century events, the ancient buildings are being restored. There are twelve people within the walls of the monastery, monks and staff, leading the farm. Thanks to their efforts, the monastery is alive and ready to receive pilgrims from all the corners of the earth.