Kiev Pechersk Monastery, the Holy Caves, & the Historical Treasures Museum
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Special Medical Restriction
The decision to build the Cathedral of the Holy Dormition at the Monastery of the Caves rose out of necessity. The specific site was decided by different means: divine intervention.
With the monk population reaching 100 about 20 years after St. Antony had established the monastery in 1051 A.D., the cave churches were no longer enough to hold everyone. St. Antony prayed for three days seeking help; out of nowhere, the local prince donated one of his fields for the construction of a cathedral.
St. Antony then began to pray again, this time seeking the best place to lay the foundation. The next morning, there was dew everywhere in the field except for one section.
When St. Antony blessed the spot and dedicated it to Christ, a bolt of lightning hit the spot as a sign of approval.
St. Antony passed away at the age of 90 shortly afterward, never seeing the completion of the cathedral. But he had promised to always watch over it and was the first person buried in the caves on July 10, 1073. Believers say that he watches still.
When the Nazis caved
There's a story that when the Nazis took over the Monastery of the Caves after conquering Kiev in World War II, they decided to exhume the bodies of the monks buried in the caves and throw them in the Dnieper River. But after loading the bodies on their normally reliable truck, they couldn't get it to start, no matter how hard they tried. Shaken, and with a new sense of reverence, they gave up and put the bodies back.
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