St. Great Martyr George the Victorious Katerlez Convent in the Village of Voikovo near Kerch
|Location:||The Village of Voikovo, Lenin District (near Kerch)|
The Convent history
Archbishop of Kherson and Taurida Innocent, maturing the idea of creating the Russian Athos in Crimea, least of all thought of monastery spreading geographically evenly about the whole peninsula. And really, in the region of Sevastopol there are three monasteries, and not far from it there is Bakhchisaray Assumption Monastery, and in the steppe Crimea there is none. And it is not by accident as the appearance of any of the monasteries was preconditioned first and foremost by the holiness of the place, regardless of time: may it be centuries-old reverence or the one connected with the recent events. Right Reverend Innocent, taking care of restoration and creation of the Crimean monasteries, did not pass over Kerch.
Kerch suburb Katerlez (now the Village of Voikovo) is situated in the rocky, stone area. Since XVIII century it has been inhabited by the Christians, who used to live here still in the times of the Turkish sway. A local shepherd daily in the morning and in the evening ascended the Mount of St. George for praying. One morning, on April 23, he saw on the rock a young warrior on the white horse. Exactly in a year the vision repeated. In the third year the shepherd ascended to the mount with three pious old men from Katerlez, and they again saw a handsome youth. This time he was not on horseback, but was standing on the big stone, the horse was nearby. The vision disappeared only after people came too close. With amazement they saw that on the stone where the youth was standing there were left his footsteps and the imprints of horse hoofs. Above the stone they built a small rectangular stone turret, and the place was frequented by pilgrims. Some time later a bit higher than the turret there was found the Icon of St. Great Martyr George. At the big abundance of people the icon was solemnly taken to Kerch Church of St. John the Precurser. Two times the Icon invisibly returned to the place of its appearance, and only after the moleben was hold and the sacrament was taken to build the temple on the place of the Icon appearance, the appearing miraculously sacred object stayed in St. John the Precurser Church. Annually, on April 23, the icon with the icon-bearing procession was taken to Katerlez to hold a moleben with blessing of waters.
In 1865 on the place of the miraculous appearances the monastery was founded, in 1900 it was reorganized into the convent. The Katerlez Convent was the first to be closed in Crimea, all its structures were dismantled to the foundation. Now the Convent is being revived, pilgrims frequent it. And before the revolution in the material aspect it was one of the most modest Crimea convents, and it has remained such up to the present time. However in the Convent the nuns are working all the time, the pray sounds, and every year on May 6, on the day of commemoration of St. Great Martyr George, from Kerch to Katerlez the icon-bearing procession moves.