Sihla Monastery

Here, on a small plateau, is situated Sihla hermitage. In front of the hermitage there are high walls of bare rocks, after which there is a cave where, as the legend says, a girl known by the people under the name of Saint Teodora would have lived for 60 years. Sihla Monastery (Neamt County) – situated on the height of the Stanisoara Mountains in a meadow guarded on west by impressive stone blocks, hidden places and hard accessible from where the monks had retreated.

Built in the XIII-th century, today this church is integrally rebuilt. On a terrace at the foot of a rock with a huge ceiling , in 1763 a very small church was built by Ionta Cantacuzino. Not far from this small church among big blocks of stone is situated St. Theodora’s cave. The access is available on a mountain road cobbled through Agapia village or Sihastria Monastery, recommended road especially for off-road vehicles.

St. Theodora was born on the XVII century on Vinatori-Neamt village. She was married with a pious young man, but, because they had no children, they decided to enter a monastery. St. Theodora took the veil in the Varzaresti-Vrancea hermitage, and her husband entered the Poiana Marului hermitage, receiving the name Eliodor. Because of the Turk forays, St. Theodora retreated in the Buzaului Mountains along with her abbess, Paisia, and after her death she lived in the Sihla hermitage in the Neamt county. Before her death, she was miraculously by several monks from Sihastria Monastery.

They buried her body in the cave where she spent her life. In 1830, Mihail Sturza restored Sihla hermitage and placed her relics in a coffin, and layed them in the hermitage’s church for worshiping. After a while, the relics were moved in his foundation from Miclauseni village. In 1852 they were sent to Percersca Monastery of Kiev and placed in a coffin on which it is written ‘St. Theodora of Carpathians’.

After the official canonize from 1992, her cult increased more, by the pilgrimage at thew St. Theodora’s cave near the Sihla Hermitage, or by erecting churches in her name.