Among the valuable ecclesiastic and religious art monuments, which attract the attention and appreciation of visitors from the country and abroad, a leading place is occupied by “Sfânta Anna” Monastery – Rohia, from “Țara Lăpușului”, Maramureș County. Placed in a picturesque frame, on top of a hill, in the middle of a breech and oak forest, Rohia Monastery is the privileged place for peace and spiritual comfort seekers, art and nature lovers.
It is situated in “Țara Lăpușului”, a very beautiful, picturesque and blessed corner of the Romanian country, at about 50 km from Baia Mare and 43 km from Dej, in the village Rohia belonging to Târgu Lapuş, in the middle of a breech and oak forest, on the top of a hill known as “Dealul Viei”, at an altitude of approximately 500 m.
The beginnings of the monastery are related to the Romanian orthodox priest Nicolae Gherman (1877-1959), pastor in a village situated at the bottom of Dealul Viei- Rohia, hill on which the monastery is located. The founder priest built the monastery in the memory of his daughter, Anuța, which he lost, being called by the Lord in November 1922, at the age of 10. This girl transformed into a messenger of God’s will, because night in, night out, she appeared in her father’s dreams, asking him to build a home for Virgin Mary, on Dealul Viei, at the border of Rohia. At the beginning, the grieving parent was hiding the dreams in his heart, until a faithful woman, Floarea lui Ilie, came to him and said: “Priest, why are you not listening to the voice of God who is ordering you through child Anuța to make a house for Virgin Mary in Dealul Viei?”
Puzzled, the priest asked – „what house should I make for Virgin Mary?” to which the woman replied – „You should make a monastery, priest!” in that moment, the priest Nicolae realised that it was a divine decision and, embracing it with a peace of mind, he decided to build a monastery in the memory of his daughter and for the comfort of the faithful people from that region.
Supported by the people living in the area, the priest decided to build the Monastery in an opening called “la stejarul lui Pintea” (at Pintea’s Oak), where, according to the custom, a cross was stuck. A few days later, they were shocked to find out that the cross was somewhere else, right on top of the hill, on a rock. Thinking that it was a malevolent person who did this, the cross was brought back to its place, and a faithful person named Alexandru Pop guarded it overnight. Late at night, when it started snowing the believer went back home. The next day, in the morning, when he got there, although there was no trace on the fresh snow, the cross was not there anymore and it was found in the place where the church is situated today. Everyone thought that this could only be a relevant sign that showed them where the Saint Monastery should be built.
The building of the church started in 1923. After many struggles, big sacrifices and helped by the enthusiasm and the arms of hundreds of faithful people, a modest church and a monastic house were built in two years.
The monastery was blessed only in 1926, by the bishop Nicolae Ivan of Cluj on the 15th of August, at the Assumption of Mary, who became the titular saint of the monastery.
This is how “the first institution of this kind” was built in the reunited Ardeal. For a long time, the building was only a skete, not being able to develop because of the really hard access. The monastery was able to develop in 1965 and later in 1970 when the electric power was introduced and the access road was improved.
The fervor and devotion of some priors with real vocation were those that enriched the heritage of Rohia, heritage that consists of the following values nowadays: “Casa de Stejar” (The Oak House) (1965), “Casa Stăreției” (The Prior’s House) (1969-1972), “Casa cu Paraclis” (The Chapel House) (1973-1975), “Casa Poetului” (The Poet’s House) (1977-1979), “Altarul de vara” (The Summer Altar) (1980-1983), “Poarta maramureșeană” (The Maramureș Gate) at the entrance on the monastery’s premises (1988), “Casa Alba” (The White House) (1988-1992), “Poarta din sat” (The Gate from the Village) (1999 – 2001), “Colțul maramureșean” (The Maramureș corner) consisting of a house and a wood church (2001). One of the very important achievements of this place was , is and always will be the fact that here, over the 70 years of existence, hundreds of thousands of Romanians were able to turn their dreams about nation and faith unity into reality.
Nowadays, by reorganization of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the “Sfânta Ana” Monastery – Rohia is under the canonical protection of the Orthodox Bishopric of Maramureș and Sătmar. It is situated in „Țara Lăpușului”, a very beautiful, picturesque and blessed corner of Romanian country, at approximately about 50 km from Baia Mare and 43 kg from Dej at the border of the Rohia village that belongs to Târgu Lăpuș, in the middle of a of a breech and oak forest, on top of a hill that is known as “Dealul Viei”, at an altitude of approximately 500 m.