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Silver filigree vigil lamp from Holy Lavra Monastery of St. Savvas the Sanctified of Palestine - Holy Land



Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp from Holy Lavra Monastery of St. Savvas the Sanctified of Palestine
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Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp

Silver filigree vigil lamp - cross

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Silver filigree vigil  lamp.

Vigil lamp is in apple shape with cup holder on top and reverse dome at bottom. It is consisted of 9 elements with central rosettes in the middle. Three elements have 14-pointed stars in the middle with one red garnet. On top, there are 3 pigeons representing Holy Ghost with rays spreading downwards to the star. Double-sided cross with one red garnet on each side is  suspended at the bottom of the lamp. The silver filigree vigil lamp is suspended on 3 chains with the top rosette in shape of 14-pointed star.

The Holy Lavra of St. Savas (Jerusalem)

Also known as St. Savvas and Mar Saba, was founded by St. Savvas in 478 as an anchorite colony of monks. It is located in the Kidron Gorge (Wadi en-Nar) near Jerusalem. The monastery influenced greatly the development of the Orthodox church services and typikon. The monastery in ancient times was known as the Great Lavra.

The Holy Lavra of St. Savas The Holy Lavra of St. Savas The Holy Lavra of St. Savas

In the fifth century, St. Savvas’ Monastery developed around the cell of St. Savvas in the cliffs of the Kidron Gorge near Jerusalem as an assemblage of anchorite monks settled near in him in similar cave-like cells. These monks came looking for his spiritual leadership. Initially, they built cells, as had St. Savvas, in caves along two kilometers of cliffs around the present day monastery. Many of these cells developed into multi-chambered dwellings and included prayer niches and chapels. During archaeological surveys in the latter twentieth century some forty-five of these hermitages of the Lavra have been examined and preserved. In time two churches were built on the floor of the ravine to serve the community.

Today, the monastery complex consists of two churches, with the tomb of St. Savvas in a courtyard between them, and a number of chapels, a common dining room, kitchen, storerooms, cisterns, dwelling cells for the monks, and a hostel for visitors. On the feast day of St. Savas, December 5, the hostel is often filled with upwards of two hundred pilgrims.

Great Lavra of St. Savas the Sanctified
Great Lavra of St. Savas the Sanctified

The central church is dedicated to the Theotokos, St. Mary. A second church, originally called Theoktistos, built into a cave, is now dedicated to St. Nicholas. The chapels are:

The Chapel of Ss Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Theotokos.
The Chapel of St John Chrysostom.

These chapels were built in chambers that had been dwellings of monks.

The Chapel of St. John of Damascus, which is also dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

This chapel is located in the cave hermitage where St. John of Damascus lived during the early eighth century.

The Chapel of St. George.
The Chapel of the Archangels.

The Chapel of the Archangels is of recent origin, having been built by an abbot, Archimandrite Seraphim, during the middle of the twentieth century.


As St. Savvas’ monastery of hermitages grew, a need was recognized for organizing the religious services of the community. Within the community, practices and customs used by the monastic communities in Palestine, Egypt, and Anatolia, as well as the cathedral services in Jerusalem, were assembled into the Typikon of the ‘‘Church Service of the Holy Lavra at Jerusalem of our God-bearing Father St. Savvas’’.

This original Typikon of St. Savvas quickly became a reference for monastic services in the Orthodox Church. It was expanded during the seventh and eighth centuries and later synthesized with Palestinian and Constantinopolitan usages. The revised Typikon of St. Savvas was widely adopted and, by the fifteenth century, had replaced the typikons of the Cathedral Office and the Studion Monastery of Constantinople. In 1545, it became the first printed typikon.

The incorrupt relics of St. Savvas the Sanctified
The incorrupt relics of St. Savvas the Sanctified

With efforts of Sister Dorothea, Serbian Orthodox nun from Jerusalem and Mrs. Gordana Sipka from Novi Sad, the silver filigree vigil lamp was donated by Serbian Orthodox pilgrims to Great Lavra Of St. Savvas, in honor of deceased Fr. George, Serbian Archimandrite from this monastery.

Precious stones were donated by grace of Mr. Dusan and Mrs. Leonora Vulovic from Belgrade.

Material:                     silver 950, garnet.
Technique:                  filigree, granulation, stone setting.

Size:                          24 (30) × 17 cm.
, chains 50 cm.
Weight:                      770 gr.

Year:                         2009.

Commissioned by:       Mrs. Gordana Sipka, Zrenjanin - Serbia.
In possession of:         Great Lavra Monastery of "St. Savvas the Sanctifies", Palestine - Holy Land.

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