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Gherisim is one of 25 monks who have devoted themselves to God and the Romanian Orthodox Church. He lives in the 12th century monastery which is in the Arad countryside.
He was 23 when he joined the order. He had a trade and served in the military but joined up for a different kind of army. I asked him many questions among them was to see his hands. They were swollen from years of work. He held them out to me to hold. The gardens are beautiful. Gherisim told us when they planted a new tree they dug the whole with their hands. Thankfully, Adrian, Paul, and Gabriel were there to translate.
When the communists took over they ransacked the place, tearing up even the floors, looking for gold and wealth. Today, they have a small museum and several small worship areas open to the public. It looks great.
As we lingered by the small gift shop (religious icons were the fare), Paul approached me. Gherisim had left and come back with gifts for me! he had declined to give them to me himself. He gave me two small laminated pictures, one of Christ and one of Mary and the infant, Jesus. The coin is a special item from the order. It is not a government coin.
Sides of the monastic coin given to me by the monk.
In one of the chapels.
Fresco on the chapel wall.
Beautifully kept gardens.
Plenty of alters.