Booklet "The Miracles of Maglavit - The Man who Spoke with God" by Vasile Popa, Romania 1935

Item

Title

Booklet "The Miracles of Maglavit - The Man who Spoke with God" by Vasile Popa, Romania 1935
Carticica: Minunile dela Maglavit - Omul care a vorbit cu Dumnezeu de Vasile Popa, România 1935

Description

This booklet, which was published in 1935, appears in a file from the General Directorate of Police from the same year. It concerns a shepherd by the name of Petrache Lupu (1907-1994) who reported having seen an “old man” (moşu) on 31 May 1935, who commanded him to “tell people you meet, people off the streets” to repent and worship God. Lupu’s supernatural visions and the accompanying miracles soon turned his village, known as Maglavit, into Romania’s largest pilgrimage site and the shepherd became a national celebrity. This 15-page booklet testifies to the nationwide interest and commercial potential that “the phenomenon of Maglavit” generated in 1935 and its insertion into a police file on the events also points towards the significance that the authorities placed on this kind of unofficial religious literature generated in interwar Romania. Written and published less than two months after Lupu’s first vision, it was printed at a commercial press in Focşani – a town on the other side of the country – as part of an order by Costache Blaga from the village of Parava, in Putna County. Blaga ordered 1,000 copies, which he intended to sell at the monthly market in Bârlad, a town over 500 kilometers away from the site of Lupu’s visions. The booklet is one of scores that were produced and sold in markets and churches across the country to believers, skeptics, and potential pilgrims.

The author, Vasile Popa, began his booklet by emphasizing Lupu’s saintliness through stories about him returning a large sum of money he had found on the road and about how he never beat his wife. Popa then provided a brief account of Lupu’s first three visions, followed by the shepherd’s decision to tell others what he had seen and heard. Lupu’s message was apparently believed almost immediately, and Popa finished by recounting the crowds of people who were already flocking to Maglavit by mid-August. There were so many, Popa wrote, that one group of 150 pilgrims from Timişoara left disappointed that they had been unable to even lay eyes on Lupu because of the crowds. Unlike many writers, Popa did not recount specific miracles or healings that Lupu performed other than that he had seen God and had predicted that it would rain in two days time. Instead, he closed with the words of Jesus in Luke 11:28: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

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Subject

Religion and State--Europe
Religion -- History -- 20th century

Creator

Roland Clark

Source

Archivele Naționale Istorice Centrale
ANIC – fond. Direcția Generală a Poliției 42/1935

Publisher

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme No . 677355

Date

1935

Rights

Copyright for these images belongs to Arhivele Nationale - ANIC

Format

image/jpeg

Language

RO

Type

booklet

Identifier

Archivele Naționale Istorice Centrale
ANIC – fond. Direcția Generală a Poliției 42/1935

Coverage

Romania
20th century

Bibliographic Citation

Roland Clark, "Booklet on "The Miracles of Maglavit" Romania 1935",

Date Created

2020