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The village is 4,423 acres.The earliest records mention the village in 1412.The settlement began on the lands of the Estate called Lubovna Lithmanova already mentioned in 1564. In 1567 this was changed when Nicholas Maciejovskeho listed the settlement as Jaworska.In 1570 the Mayor Nicholas Spis agreed with Nicholas Maciejovskeho and issued documentation to require peter Wiszlowskeho to forfeit fields which were called Lipman. 9 inhabitants obtained these lands for a 12 year period.After the expiration of the 12 year period, the property would pass to Lubovniansky castle.Peter Wiszlowskemu inherited two tracts of land, a mill, brewery, income from tenant farmers working the land.Privileges were given to the settlement and these were offered by the Soltys which included following standard German law in all proceedings.The village was part of the Lubovna estate and utilized as collateral as an asset to Polish princes in 1772.In 1822 the residents rebelled against the nobility.In 1828 the village had 162 hours and 1,185 inhabitants.Residents worked in farming, as glassmakers and tinkers.During the turn of the 19th century high emigration was seen and the population was depleted.During poor economic times villagers walked to Poland to sell food, butt, cheese and eggs.After 1918 the village took on a more rural and agricultural nature.Residents supported the SNP for partisan groups which operated in the vicinity.The village was liberated on January 24, 1945.A revolutionary National Committee was created on January 28, 1945 with the election of President Michal Hlinka-Achim and Vice-President Joseph Hlinka. In the 1946 elections , of the 355 votes received, KSS won 109.3% of the vote, the Labor Party, JRD-based was beaten,After a year, in 1945 village sewer lines were installed, in 1960 local radio, street lighting and construction of a buildings called Unity SD and Building MNS.In 1958 a community center was constructed and in 1978 a financial office, fire station and school building were constructed.In 1982 water and indoor plumbing were installed and in 1990 local roads, buildings and other structures such as the JRD were constructed.
The Greek Catholic Church of the Archangel Michael was constructed in the Baroque-Classic style in 1778. The Church was renovated in 1895 and 1933.In 1938 the nave and a church tower was added.The tower has a Baroque dome.The interior furnishings are from the year 1895.The church holds a chalice which is Baroque and dates from 1716.There are also two candlesticks which rest on the altar which are hand carved and from the 18th century.Some of the priest who served in the early years of the church are: 1806-1807, Elias Janicky, 1806, Vasil Vislocky, 1807-1812, Juraj Andrejkovic, 1812-1815, Hyacint Krupa, 1815-1822, Juraj Andrejkovic, 1822-1826, Stefan Danielovic, 1821-1881, Jan Vislocky, 1881-1887, Andrej Artim, 1887-1900, Alexander Sedlak, 1900-1905, Emil Mihalyi, 1905-1909, Pavol Mankovics, 1909-1919, Viktor Nevicky.
Photos Provided by, The Greek Catholic Archbishop of Presov
During 1990 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children in the village of Litmanova.The children were Ivetka Korcakova (11 years old), Catherine Ceselkovi (12 years old) and Mitko Ceselkovi (9 years old.)The children were playing on Mount Zvir which is approximately 1 mile from the village of Litmanova.During the apparition the children heard noises in the forest.The sounds grew louder and the children became frightened.The children ran to a hay barn and began to pray.Then, light appeared in their room and the children thought this was sun coming in from the window.The light moved in the room and the Virgin Mary appeared.The children were stunned and ran away.Later, during the month of August the children saw the Blessed Virgin Mary again.The Virgin Mary it was reported revealed herself in a mist.On September 30th Ivetka asked the Blessed Virgin regarding her mother’s poor health, the Virgin replied “Do not worry.”On October 20th the Blessed Virgin appeared and asked that people pray for the conversation of sinners.The children prayed the rosary but were afraid to walk through the forest.Ivetka began to repeat a prayer “Mary, Mother of ours, hide us under your cloak.”By November 4th people heard of these visitations and many were arriving at the mountain Zvir.At this time, the Blessed Virgin asked that Holy Mass be offered.A priest who was interested in these apparitions asked Ivanka to inquire “what is your name?” the Blessed Virgin during her apprirition declared “I am the Immaculate Purity and I come from Heaven.”During this revelation the Blessed Virgin asked that people pray the Holy Rosary.On December 8th The Blessed Virgin requested that Holy Mass be said on Christmas directly on the Mountain.
During 1991 another revelation was offered, at that time approximately five thousand people were making the pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain Zvir.On January 13th the children reported the Blessed Mother stated “I bless the entire mountain.”Then the revelations came only every first Sunday of the month (after the first Friday). Mary explained they should go to confession on the first Friday, and so will be able to realize her words more, take heart and to contemplate them. Many revelations were given to the children with one being a secret on Sunday, April 7th.On August 4th, the first anniversary of the apparitions, the total number of pilgrims at the Holy Mountain Zvir was approximately one million people.On August 8th a Commission of Church hierarchy was established to investigate the events in Litmanova.They decided to continue to publish the messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary.The Blessed Virgin told the children many things to tell the people, some were, on September 8th “Gods visit is already close and therefore, search for love; on October 6th “I Want to live in you and you in me”, on November 3rd, “Lean to thank”, on December 8th “I did all my life what God wanted.”Many other messages were given to the children to impart on the pilgrims.On January 8, 1995 the Blessed Virgin Mary instructed the children to have the pilgrims say this prayer:God, They have given my whole past to thee I put my whole future.I thank you for today which I give.And so, I thank thee, for thou are with me and I rejoice for I know that you will never leave me.”
On August 6th the last apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Limanova on Holy Mountain Zvir took place.The Blessed Virgin Mary stated “For this time you need to repent!Please, please!You need to be more vigilant and simple, there is a time coming which is already here.You must have faith as a child and to accept Gods will for you.Ivetka said: “This apparition was very special because the Virgin asked “Touch the feet” and Ivetka kissed the foot of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Even though the revelations have ceased millions still come on pilgrimage during the first Sunday of the Month (after the first Friday).The main pilgrimage is on the first Sunday of August (The anniversary of the apparitions.)Thousands of people come and Holy Mass is offered.Many priests and even Bishops are in attendance.There are very long lines for the sacrament of confession and the atmosphere is very peaceful and calm.Services take place all day and night. Many come to pray and beg the Blessed Virgin for her help and, in thanksgiving to her and her son for favors received.Others come to pray for those they know who are ill or suffering.Ivetka Korcakova, one of the visionaries, after she had seen the revelations adopted the name of Maria Goretti.During the latter half of 2003, and after more than 8 years in this community she relocated.In August, 2007 she married.Kate Ceselkova also married and has two children.There are numerous reports of healings, both spiritual and physical at the Holy Mountain Zvir.The miraculous power of the spring water at the holy site has also been reported to grant many healings.There are too many people to mention who have said the Holy Mountain Zvir changed their lives forever.Bishop Jan Hirka set up a commission formed to further investigate the events in Litmanova.This commission is trying to determine if the apparitions are authentic.
Ivetka has given many lectures and in her words are wisdom and peace. There are volumes of testimony from many different people as a pilgrimage to Litmanova gives them courage to bear personal difficulties. The miraculous power of water from the mountain springs is known well in all of over Slovakia.Some testimonies are truly remarkable and there is no way for modern science to explain them.For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.
Bishop Jan Hirka formed a commission to investigate events in Litmanová. This is to ascertain the authenticity of the apparitions. On Sunday, August 8, 2004 during the annual pilgrimage. Mount Zvir was visited with more than 10,000 pilgrims and also by Prešov Eparchy Bishop. ThD. Jan Babjak SJ. For this festive day, the Bishop before the celebration of the liturgy read the decree, which declares Holy Mountain Zvir a place of prayer and that a chapel shall be constructed dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.Over ten thousand people witnessed this event and were overjoyed.Many were in tears and they thanked God for this blessing.
In 2006 major preparations were begun to construct new liturgical accommodations for large amounts of pilgrims.New buildings were constructed (the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception) and housing and facilities for the numerous pilgrims planned.In August 2008 the first building was finished and in September of 2008 the Archbishop of Presov, Jan Babjak, SJ declared the Holy Mountain Zvir a place of pilgrimage under the administration of the Greek Catholic Archepharchy.The first Sunday after the First Friday in August was set as the main pilgrimage site.Mons. J. Babjak mentioned “You bear witness to this place, there is becoming a significant spiritual miracle reversal, there is a new strength and new grace to this life that you are going back and finding the lost joys in your souls.
After 18 years Holy Mountain Zvir has received official approval and pilgrims continue to come in large numbers.Even thought there is so much turmoil in the world, wars, sorrow, hunger, pain and many other bad influences, the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Holy Mountain of Zvir are of comfort and bring strength of heart to those who hear them, Mary, our Mother, hide us under your mantle!Immaculate Purity, help us to keep a clean heart!
On a personal note, I visited the Holy Mountain Zvir during one of my numerous trips to Slovakia in the very early years of these apparitions.At that time, there were no buildings and you had to climb the mountain without paved sidewalks or railings. In bad weather, this was quite slippery and dangerous, yet, people came.There was only a small wooden chapel, with barely enough room to fit five or six people inside at the site of apparitions.The spring with holy water was just a small pipe with a facet in the ground.There were no other buildings or holy sites (i.e. crosses, shrines, Stations of the Cross.)However, being there brought a sense of inner peace and contentment.The entire mountain was silent except for the gentle breeze of the wind through many trees on top of the mountain.
It is a testament to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the dedication of so many pilgrims and the Greek Catholic Hierarchy that so much has been done to construct this magnificent shrine.From its humble beginning it has been transformed into a place of prayer, repentance and true devotion to God, his Son Jesus Christ and to the Blessed Virgin.In her own words, the Blessed Virgin Mary said to Ivetka Korcakova “I will remain with you my dear children!Thank you for coming here; if you come with any intention, I thank you.I love you and please give me your trust.Even your dearest abandon you, still, I will always remain with you.”
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