Church St. George and Reverend Stoina, Zlatolist
The church St. George in Zlatolist, one of the villages near Melnik, is one of the most famous in the country. Throughout the whole year, thousands of Bulgarian and foreign worshipers and tourists visit this extraordinary place, which is connected with the miracles of St. George and Reverend Stoina.
The church is located 12 km away from the town of Melnik and 25 km away from the region of Rupite. In fact, it is a cemetery church, dug into the ground, three-nave stone pseudo-basilica, built in 1857.
Here, in the beginning of the last century, lived Reverend Stoina, with the secular name of Stoina Dimitrova /1883-1933/, who stayed there until the end of her life. After getting sick from the pox at the age of 7, she went blind and that’s when her abilities as a clairvoyant and a healer appeared. The clairvoyant came to Zlatolist after the burning of her home village and also, according to her own words, following the order of St. George himself. Here, Reverend Stoina lived simply, in a small room above the church, where she dedicated her life to God and prayer, fasting and helping others. Even today, visitors leave on the ceiling of the room their pictures for health and also icons and gifts.
Many worshipers come to this miraculous place with the hope that God, St. George and Reverend Stoina will hear their prayers for healing, having a child, work, family and other life problems. It is believed that everyone, who embraces the eternal sycamore in the yard of the church, will be healed. And whoever swings on the swing, tied up on it, will be healed from infertility. On the 1 300-year-old tree, stuck in omnifarious nooks, can be seen hundreds of folded pieces of paper with wishes written on them. The grave of Reverend Stoina, where the visitors come to pay tribute to the clairvoyant, is also situated in the yard. You can also go to the well of wishes. There is a belief that if you whisper your wish over it, the wish will come true.
In the church, first thing that visitors do is lighting a candle for health and blessings. Inside, people take off their shoes and step on a marble slab, situated under the dome of the church, and say their prayers to Jesus Christ. It is believed that this place has a healing power and prayers are being heard.
Reverend Stoina, herself, prayed to God and the saints in the church, and many received help and healing, others long-awaited child and so on. Since then and until today, there are many testimonies and acknowledgements written down and kept in the church. The biggest number worshipers come here on 9th of September - the birthday of Reverend Stoina, on the Saturday before the 22th of December - the day when her earthly walk ended, and on St. George's Day - when, traditionally, in the yard of the church St. George there is a sacrificial rite for health.
Church St. George
Village of Zlatolist, Municipality of Sandanski, District of Blagoevgrad
Tel.: +359 879 275 151
9.00 – 17.00, no days off
If it is closed, you can call the number above, so they can come and open it for you.
It is possible to stay in the church overnight only the night of the 5th of May (the morning of the 6th) - St. George’s Day.
In the church’s yard, there’s a building with rooms for accommodation at any time of the day - 6 rooms with 16 beds, 10lv/night per person; It is mandatory to call ahead of time /price last updated - 2019/.
Baptising and weddings are done in the church throughout the year; it is necessary to call ahead of time.