Cathedral of Saint Tryphon

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Stari grad 336, Kotor
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The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (Katedrala Svetog Trifuna) in the Old Town of Kotor is a cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Kotor, built in 1166. Of course, the Cathedral is not quite what it was in the 12th century, as it suffered during the devastating earthquakes in 1667 and 1997, but it still looks grand and impressive. Cathedral is located in the eponymous square in the southern part of Old Kotor and it is a main attraction of this town.

St. Tryphon cathedral, despite numerous reconstructions, is an outstanding example of Romanesque architecture. Currently, he is taken into custody by UNESCO and is part of the World Heritage site "Natural and Cultural-Historical Region of Kotor".

It is one of two Catholic cathedrals in Montenegro, along with the cathedral "of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary", located in the town of Bar.

The building of the cathedral was consecrated on July 19,1166 (building began in 1124) in the name of St. Tryphon, who is considered to be a saint patron of Kotor. Many trials have fallen to the lot of the building; one of the most difficult moments in the history of the temple was a catastrophic earthquake in 1667. It resulted the destruction of the building, so that both bell towers of the cathedral had to be rebuilt. Built of stone, now from the Croatian island of Korcula, the high towers (the height of which are 33 m and 35 m) acquired some characteristics typical to the style of "baroque". Between themselves, they are connected with a wide arch that separates the façade horizontally. At the top of the facade is placed a sufficiently large window - rosette and arch forms itself a portico, located directly above the entrance to the cathedral.

In 1979, in Montenegro there was another devastating earthquake and the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon was among the damaged facilities. However, by 2003 the reconstruction work carried out by UNESCO, had been completed in the entire city.

There is a plaque on the facade of the cathedral, installed in 1925 in honor of the millennium, the day of the coronation of the first Croatian king Tomislav.

The most important value of the cathedral is the relics of St. Tryphon, which rest in the chapel. Here is also a large wooden crucifix, the exact origin of which is unknown.
Before the construction of the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, there had been an old church on this place, which had been established in 809, by a noble citizen Andriy Saratsenis. According to many sources, it was he, who bought in the IX century the relics of Saint Tryphon from the Venetian merchants, who brought them from Constantinople to Kotor. Later, the church was completely burned during the great fire and the townspeople decided to rebuild the temple in honor of its saint patron, but in a more stately form. By the way, the body of Andrij Saratsenis who presented the relics to the city and the cathedral, also rest in a sarcophagus to right of the main entrance of the building.

One of the most notable elements of the interior decoration of the temple is a ostensory with a stunning valance, which is a Gothic masterpiece. Four columns of red marble mined in Kamenari, a small town near Kotor, supported by a three-tiered octagonal structure topped with a figure of an angel. On each of the three tiers imprinted in stone carving the scenes from the life of St. Tryphon.
About St. Tryphon.

About the St. Tryphon isn’t know much. He is revered in Russia, and especially in Bulgaria. Tryphon was a martyr and a pious man. The first victims of the faith in Christ were Archdeacon Stephen (in his honor named a famous hotel-island Sveti Stefan in Montenegro) and Saint Thecla, and therefore they are called protomartyrs - and Tryphon suffered a little later. During his holy and pure life, Tryphon received from God the ability to heal people and the gift of exorcism, for what he became famous with his contemporaries.

Tryphon was born in 232, in the village of Kampsady, not far from the town of Apamea of Phrygia on the Meander (internal historical region of Asia Minor, modern Turkey, the city of Dinard. At that time the Roman Empire dominated, and the cult of Mithra (god of the sun) flourished, and the cult of Roman pagan gods, having come from the Greek pantheon was venerated.

But, in the end, it was Christianity, which completely satisfied a state power, because Mithraism, with its deep Persian roots, despite its great popularity in the Empire, was not suitable for European secular state. That's how the saints and martyrs who once had been persecuted and crucified by the Roman emperors became the firm foundation of a new large-scale state religion, which steadily covered the whole western civilized world, starting to push through into our Slavic land.

 What happened to Tryphon and why he became a holy martyr?

Born in a simple Christian family from an early age he shepherded geese and other country poultry. The gift of healing declared itself very early. He repeatedly prevented the invasion of locusts and other creatures to their village and gradually became very popular.

When the Roman Emperor Gordian III (248-244 gg.) had heard about him, he immediately began to search for Tryphon for treatment of his daughter, possessed by a demon, that tormented her mercilessly. Obviously, the father suffered greatly and finally found Tryphon in Phrygia. Tryphon agreed to come to Rome, however, three days before the arrival, demonic spirit had known about Tryphon's arrival, went out in panic from the body of Gordian's daughter. Emperor Gordian accepted Tryphon, who turned at the time only 17 years old and was very interested in his personality, asked to see firsthand that spirit that for so long had been tormented his daughter. In fact, the emperor, likely, wanted to check him out and see whether he really possessed the super-powered abilities. Tryphon agreed and went in prayer and fasting for six days, on the morning of the seventh day showed to the emperor and his synkletos (Supreme Council) that spirit in the form of a black dog with glowing red eyes. And, supposedly, to the Tryphon’s question, why it had moved into his daughter, the spirit replied that since everyone in here were the idolaters, to enter a person didn’t represent for him a great work, and to the question why it had come out of her body, the essence replied, that it could not stay in the body any longer, because Tryphon was true Christian and the demons couldn’t be next to the one, who mentioned the name of Christ and who lived with this name.

This event was a triumph of Tryphon in the Christian faith, since then, many presentі at this impressive-contact session with the wicked spirit were shocked and later accepted the Christianity. Gordian became too favorable to Christianity and bestowing Tryphon with many gifts, sent him home with gratitude. As a result of that incident, Tryphon became known far beyond his homeland.

But, unfortunately, the story didn’t not end. After the change of emperors on the throne of the Roman Empire reigned fierce Trajan Decius (249-251), who began serious systemic brutal persecution of Christians. During his reign, countless Christians were killed, many of them, fearing the persecution and torture, turned away in fear from their faith and proned to idolatry (recall that the idols in terms of Christianity, there was Mitra - a god of the sun and the Roman gods). Emperor Decius decreed their bishoprics and hegemon to persecute Christians everywhere and kill them mercilessly if they refused to worship the Roman gods. 

East viceroy of Emperor Decius – Akilian having received a decree from Decius of mass destruction and persecution of Christians, immediately recalled Tryphon and decided to become famous.

Tryphon had been warned, but he decided not to hide, he realized that his hour had come, and that now his faith would be subjected to a severe test. By that time, he was already 26, a mature man at that time, whom the people, apparently honored as the Messiah. Tryphon understood that he must pass all the tests, which Jesus once passed and which he had been preaching since his adolescence. Tryphon went to Nicaea, where Akilian was and gave himself up in his hands.

Akilian made a show trial in the presence of a large number of officials, servants, squires and ordinary people to report to the emperor. Akilian had been asking Tryphon about himself, his beliefs, and finally, referring to the imperial decree, proposed Tryphon to accept the Roman gods and sacrifice to them, and if Trifon fulfilled his commandment, the holy would be released, if not - then he would be executed. Tryphon replied that in his life he followed his own free will and served only to Christ, and with pleasure would become a victim of someone who himself brought him his prey...

Akilian was enraged and in furious ordered to beat Trifon for three hours having hanged naked on a tree, and then offered him to recognize Zeus as his god and worship the image of the emperor. Tryphon called Zeus lawless magus and dark wicked magician, and expressed his contempt to the emperor, having called his image heartless, forced Akilian to torture him in the cold in the mountains long and mercilessly, and then in prison, using sophisticated methods of torture, but didn’t get anything from Tryphon.

Once in front of everyone, while Trifon was being tortured in prison, an angel appeared with a shining crown in his hands. Having seen this, the torturers got frightened, but Akilian only became more steel heart. As a result, Akilian made his decision to sentence Tryphon to death by beheading with a sword, because Tryphon refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods, in spite of all attempts of Akilian. The Holy was taken outside the city border and just before the moment of his death, when his head should had been cut off by Tryphon prayer his spirit had departed from him in advance, and Tryphon died. Local Christians, having wrapped his body in a burial shroud, anointed with balms, wanted to bury him in the vicinity of Nicaea, but Tryphon came personally to his followers and ordered to bury his body in Kapsadah, in his homeland, and this was exactly fulfilled.

St. Tryphon in detail repeated the fate of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem for two and a half centuries ago - the analogy is almost complete. Even his subsequent appearance to his followers after his death with the will of the place of his burial, in general, coincides with the phenomenon of Christ to his disciples after Jesus' death. This is exactly the strong point of this Christian martyr, who firmly and deliberately passed to the end and remained faithful to his true faith and his beliefs, according to various historical data there often were miracles of healing at his grave, and people received help with prayers to him. Further fate of Tryphon was connected with his relics and miracles that took place afterwards.

As for the relics, the head of St. Typhon is in the Cathedral of St. Tryphon in Montenegro, in the town of Kotor. Some of his relics was brought in 1803 in Russia. In 1819, part of his relics have been put in three small reliquaries, which were placed in the icon of St. Tryphon in Tryphon Church in Naprudny Boulevard in Moscow. When the church was closed in 1931, this icon with the particle of his relics was transferred to the Church of the Mother of God sign icon, which is in Pereyaslavskaya Sloboda near the metro station Rizhskaya and among people it became known as "Tryphonsky".

It's time to remember the sacredness Triangle of saint martyr Tryphon in Moscow. Invisible to the naked eye and having connected three churches in triangle alleged miracles of healing and the expulsion of evil spirits. It consists of three temples:
1. Mother of God "The Omen" metro station Rizhskaya
2. Temple in Naprudnoye
3. Icons of Mother of God "Unexpected Joy" in the Maryina Roscha

The fact that two of the three churches were not closed during the Soviet atheism, also speaks in favor of the defender Tryphon, as at times increases the power of Tryphon sacred triangle! All these three temples are located close to each other, forming an invisible sacred triangle, which, unfortunately, is not known even by many orthodoxies!!!

St. Tryphon cathedral continued to keep some of its secrets. In ancient times, all the walls of the church were decorated with frescoes, which almost did not survive to the present. Recently, at the apses and vaults aisles, the remains of paintings were found out, executed in Byzantine style. It is proved that the creation of these frescoes dates back to the XIV century, but it is not known who made these frescoes - the Greeks or the Serbs.

Cathedral of St. Tryphon is depicted on the emblem of the city and is one of the most important tourist attractions of Kotor. Each year, the cathedral attracts many tourists from around the world.

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