Articles Deacon Andrei Psarev Parishes and Monasteries

Founding of St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Slovakia

A Model Monastery for Jordanville

St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Slovakia was founded on this day in 1923.

I only learned about this anniversary last fall, when the Roman Catholic Slovak Institute in Rome organized a conference about the monastery. At it, last December, I gave a presentation on the connection between Ladomirová in East Slovakia and Jordanville in Central New York.

The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian Empires as a result of World War I brought an end to the cultural, religious, and political identities that had been fostered in the course of the centuries. Among the reconsidered religious alliances was the conversion of Eastern Orthodox Christians to Greco-Catholicism at the Council in Uzhhorod in 1646.

In 1923, East Slovakia was part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Archimandrite Vitaly (Maximenko) arrived here as a clergyman of Bishop Veniamnin (Fedchenkov), a vicar of Archbishop Savvatii. From the beginning there were bitter anti-Uniate polemics. In 1928, a periodical Pravoslavnaia Karpatskaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia in Carpathia) was founded in Ladomirová. Therefore, it is amazing that the Greek-Catholcis were the ones to post the monastery’s Jubilee under the spotlight of national celebration.

There is a Russian saying, “One man on the battlefield is not a warrior.” Vladyka Vitaly proved this truism wrong. He was, so to speak, a one-man band, serving and singing along in an apartment above the tavern in Svidník, and then moving to Ladomirová. 

The monastery in Ladomirová was organized around, I would say, St. Benedict of Nursia’s principle of ora et labora (prayer and work). They constantly printed literature and ministered to the local population. Vespers and Matins were attended on a daily basis by those who served and chanted there.

When the brotherhood arrived in Jordanville in 1946, these principles were transplanted and reinforced there (the founder, Fr. Panteleimon, had already been following them). St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Ladomirová became a “mother ship” for the St. Job of Pochaev Brotherhoods abroad: in Germany (the monastery still exists in Munich), England (for a few years after World War II), in Brazil and Uruguay (moved to Canada, where it ceased to exist), and in Moscow (existed in the 1990s).

Twenty-one years (1923–1944) is not a great amount of time even for a single person’s life. However, the case of Ladimirová proves that it is possible for people to make a prolonged impact when they dedicate their lives to a just cause.

Since the monks left, there has been no monastery in Slovakia. The fact that one came to exist at all must be a testament to the personality of its founder, Vladyka Vitaly.


Monk Benjamin (Gomarteli), “Letopis’ tserkovnykh sobytii Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi nachinai s 1917-go goda,” [Timeline of the Events of the Church History Beginning with 1917]. Part 1: 1917-1927.

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