Booklet "Petrache Lupu - The Miracle of Maglavit" volume 1 & 2, Romania, 1935



Booklet "Petrache Lupu - The Miracle of Maglavit" volume 1 & 2, Romania, 1935
Carticica: Petrache Lupu - Minunea dela Maglavit, vols. 1 & 2, România


These booklets appear in a Romanian General Directorate of Police file from September 1935, having been confiscated almost immediately after they were published. By this time hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had begun to descend on the small village of Maglavit, causing the authorities to take an interest in published reports about what was happening there. A shepherd from the small village of Maglavit near the Bulgarian border, Lupu described several visions he had had of God while he was watching his sheep in May and June that year. Despite apparently having a speech defect – some sources say he was almost mute – he began calling people to repent, telling his listeners to not to raise their hands against the weak, not to steal, and not to deceive. His village quickly became a pilgrimage site attracting so many people that, according to this author, there was not even a tiny corner where one could stay. Doctors and government officials worried about the public health risks posed by large numbers of peasants – many of them sick and infirm – gathering in one place with insufficient food, water, and shelter. Conflicts also arose between skeptics and believers, but according to the sources these were usually resolved through supernatural judgement of the skeptics, not through person-to-person violence. Fascists attempted to make use of the phenomenon for political means, and Lupu began preaching an anti-government message against the Romanian Communist Party in the late 1940s, but during the 1930s the overwhelming concern of the police seems to have been with the potential for profiteering. Rumours abounded about deceitful individuals collecting money to send to Maglavit that they actually kept for themselves.

The commercial aspect of these booklets is apparent from the fact that it was published at a commercial press in the town of Galaţi rather than at a church publishing house or somewhere close to Maglavit. The author’s name is missing, although most of the first booklet reproduces the text from Vasile Popa’s (see link to related entry below) The Miracle of Maglavit almost word for word, making one wonder whether Popa knew that his work was being reprinted or received any money from it.

Unlike many of the religious tracts about Petrache Lupu, this one contains no strong polemic against atheists or Protestants, and focuses instead on providing a clear, simple, and slightly sensational account of what was said to have happened to Lupu. The sensationalism increases dramatically in the second booklet, and in the last part of the first booklet when it departs from Popa’s original text. The additional material focuses on Lupu’s misfortune of losing his father at a young age, on his speech problems and his crushing poverty, before providing dramatic accounts of his healing a paralised woman, converting a man who abused his animals into an animal lover, and confronting a priest who had doubted him in private. It ends with a call from Petrache Lupu’s bishop, Vartolomeu Stănescu, acknowledging the veractiy of the miracles and encouraging people to donate money and to undertake a pilgrimage themselves.

Related entry:
Other related entries:


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


Roland Clark


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


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




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


20th century

Bibliographic Citation

Roland Clark, "Booklet "Petrache Lupu - The Miracle of Maglavit" volume 1 & 2, Romania, 1935",

Date Created

January 2021