Few days ago i came back from one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. Ohrid.. a city by a wonderful lake.. rich with its natural, cultural and spiritual treasures. Ohrid has been protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site since 1980.. and at the moment is a candidate to be one of the New 7 natural wonders of the world. The city is filled with Monasteries.. churches.. museums.. cultural events.. and a peaceful lake.. that u can look at for hours.
One of the monasteries located in the mountain few kilometers from the beach, took my attention more than the rest of the monasteries. Built in the 9th century, St. Stephan Monastery is a living reminder of the way monks used to live in the medieval time.
The church is isolated.. and in order to reach it.. you need to walk for 30 minutes into the woods.. and the mountain to reach at the end.. a huge rock. On top of this rock there is a big cross.. and under that cross.. an entrance to the tiny monastery. The rock actually is the Church... and next to the "rock" .. a small house were the monks who take care of it live.
and here is the entrance of the Church:
It's a very small church.. with just an altar.. and a smaller room where you can enter and pray.. and the rest of the space is the inside of the rock.. which surprisingly is hollow.
Things seemed fine.. until i noticed on the roof of the entrance chapel.. right under the small cross in the picture above, i noticed an interesting drawing.. of a yellow triangle.. and an eye in it.
If you have read Dan Brown's Angles & Demons.. u recongize a weird similiarity.. with this drawing.. and with the drawings in the churches or Rome.. having a Masonic symbol iside a church.. and for those who hasn't read A&D yet, the Pyramid Eye.. is of the symbols left by the Masonic movement.. this very same pyramid.. is found also on the 1 US dollar as u can see below:
The similarity is obvious.. there is no doubt that its the same symbol.. but the question why is it drawn there.. in a medieval Orthodox monastery that originally is built in the 9th century..?
I asked a nun who was cleaning the Church and asked her why does it represent.. and when was it drawn.. she answered that it has 2 meanings.. the first that it represents the third eye.. on our forehead.. which is one of the energy points in our body which connects our soul with spiritual life. The second theory states that it represents the eye of Lucifer or Horus. (According to the legend Horus has lost one of his eyes in a battle in which he killed Set). The nun didn't know when was it drawn on the wall.. but she says it has been protecting the monastery from the Turkish and Albanian attacks during the Ottoman empire.. which gives at least 200 or 300 years of existence if not more.
The icons drawn on the walls inside of the church.. were older.. and almost fading.. unlike the eye pyramid drawing.. i asked why is the difference.. does that mean that the icons are drawn thousand years ago.. and the eye is recent? She responeded that the church has been renovated many times.. the latest in the 70s ... so all the drawings that do not represent any Saints.. were redrawn.
She explained further.. that monks and nuns.. used to crush the bones of the saints.. and mix them with the color powder.. and use that same powder to draw on the walls.. so that the saint's body actually is on the wall.. this heritage and tradition.. actually explained in my head why in the Orthodox churches even in Jordan.. people kiss the icons.. and the walls.. which means that this tradition happened in all the places Orthodox Christianity spread.. including Jordan & Palestine. With that the nun also explained why the icons and drawings inside were not repainted.. to keep it authentic and holy as it was drawn when the monastery was built. Below you can see the drawings am talking about :
The question remained unanswered in my head.. what does masonic symbol do in a Orthodox church.. and was it "recently" painted.. or was it painted in the 9th century when it was built..
I guess this enigma will remain so.. but it is worth knowing.. that every drawing .. and painting.. has a particular meaning and reason.