MARTOR no. 28 / year 2023

Oneiric Authentication of a Miraculous Shrine. Case Study from a Dobruja Monastery, Romania

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Laura Jiga Iliescu
“Constantin Brăiloiu” Institute of Ethnography and Folklore, The Romanian Academy, Romania
ORCID: 0000-0001-6688-6543

Laura Jiga Iliescu is Senior Researcher at the “Constantin Brăiloiu” Institute of Ethnography and Folklore from Bucharest, The Romanian Academy and Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest. Her main fields of interest include the relation between orality and literacy, folk narratives and their ritual continuity, devotional and charming practices, Christian religiosity in premodern and modern times, interconfessional exchanges as well as ethnology of the mountain and the anthropology of the body.

PAGES: 125-137

KEYWORDS: Dream narratives; divination; incubation; multi-religious sacred space; monastery; holy grave; healer monk; Dobruja.


An interesting phenomenon of incubation ritual was attested in open air in southwest Dobruja at the very beginning of the 20th century, at a healing stone cross that, two decades later, was enclosed by an Orthodox Christian monastery. The article focuses on the narrative strategy that asserts Christian authority over the site. The strategy includes a corpus of legends that associate the origin of the cross with the local martyrdom past, its miraculous finding, and a modern hagiography whose main character is a thaumaturgic monk. The dream as a realm for divine communication, represents a theme that coagulates the entire narrative corpus and contributes greatly to the construction of a sanctuary. Over the last decades, energy and spiritual healing practitioners have enriched the group of visitors to the monastery.


Jiga Iliescu, Laura. 2023. “Oneiric Authentication of a Miraculous Shrine. Case Study from a Dobruja Monastery, Romania.” Martor 28: 125-137. [DOI: 10.57225/martor.2023.28.08]

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