The man who spoke to God

Contacts: (Maglavit Monastery)

One of the most known legends in Dolj county – based on a true story – is that of the shepherd Petrache Lupu from Maglavit, also known as “the man who spoke to God”. Maglavit is a commune near the Danube, 77 km from Craiova and 25 km from Vidin. The story begins in the summer of 1935, when God appeared and spoke to the shepherd Petrache Lupu, just as, at the same time, in Lourdes, France, the Virgin Mary had spoken to a young girl. This appearance gave rise to a whole pilgrimage phenomenon in the area during the interwar period. Since then, the Maglavit Monastery attracts thousands of curious, tourists and believers every year in search of a miracle.

During the period 1930-1935, the area was affected by a severe drought, ravaging pastures and throwing the villagers into despair. Under these conditions, the communal shepherd Petrache Lupu, stammer from birth and illiterate, would have witnessed a divine appearance. Three Fridays in a row, on May 31, June 7 and June 14, 1935, he claimed that he met, in a forest of acacia and poplar trees, at the place called “at the snags”, an old man with so long hair that it covered the whole body. The Old Man, who shone like silver and smelled of myrrh, floated above the earth. He would have ordered to Petrache to tell people that he “will break their works” if they do not repent, do not go to church, do not respect the rest of the holidays and Sundays and do not fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, after which he has gone in a bright cloud.

After the third meeting with the old man, the shepherd narrated the occurrence to some of his helpers from the sheepfold, who were astonished that he was talking. The next day, he left towards the village, telling everyone the word of God. The news spread quickly, and the following days they came to the village to see Petrache from police, from other localities, journalists. On the day of Pentecost, going to church, the shepherd saw again the old man floating in the air above the priest having the service. As the days passed, more people came to see and listen to Petrache, and more and more people came to church on Sundays. He began to preach what he had learned from God: women should no longer get rid of their children, people should not lie, not to hate, steal, not to commit adultery, to respect their parents and elderly, to fast during fasting periods, on Wednesdays and Fridays, no to commit bad deeds, unpleasant to God. People began to gather in the forest where God was first shown.

The news that God was shown at Maglavit to a shepherd has reached almost every corner of the country, as far as Transylvania, Moldova and Maramures, and thousands of people were leaving their homes in carts to meet the man who spoke to God. Some came to hear him, others from the faith, to heal from any illness or infirmity. In just a few weeks, the place where Petrache Lupu was feeding his sheep became small for the hundreds of thousands of people who came to listen to him. According to the statistics of the time, between 1935 and 1938, about two million pilgrims arrived in Maglavit. The more amazing were Lupu’s sermons, the more so until not long ago he was just an illiterate and deaf-mute shepherd.

Climbing on a small improvised pulpit, a short man, wearing peasant trousers and peasant shoes, preached the word of God to the crowd. His sermons lasted for hours, during which time he never stopped, not even to drink water or to eat, enlightened, as if by invisible force. When the priests and the great prelates who came to hear him asked him questions, Petrache always told them the same thing: that he had spoken to God, who had taught him how to heal the world.

Shortly afterwards, miracles began to appear: Petrache was touching people, and they were recovering from bodily or mental diseases. Out of gratitude, they began to make donations, from which, later, a church was erected exactly where Lupu first spoke to God. The news about the Maglavit shepherd who made wonders after seeing God has reached King Carol II. It is said that Lupu was taken by limousine and taken to Peleș Palace, where he stayed for several days. Later, the king would baptize his second child, Mihai.

When the war began, the world believed that it was God’s punishment and that the end was near. Petrache was called by General Antonescu, who took him on a plane to pray over the front. Seeing the Don’s Bend, where the front line was, the shepherd would have told the general that the war would be lost and the Russians would come. After returning to Maglavit, Petrache went on a pilgrimage across the country to preach the teachings of God. At the end of the war, he was taken by the Communists and held for three months. Since then he has not preached, but has received people at night, secretly, at his home to cure them. That’s how he lived the rest of his life, rendering the sight to the blind, raising the paralyzed, healing the limp, making the deaf-mute to hear and speak …

Petrache Lupu, the Saint of Maglavit, the Man who spoke to God … invention or truth, legend or reality, cannot be known. Curiosities or believers who arrive in the village, arrive at Maglavit Monastery, erected near the place of the divine appearance, in whose yard Petrache Lupu is buried. To honour his memory, in the village of Maglavit, a street bears his name, and in front of the town hall a bronze statue of him can be seen.



• Cătălin Manole, “Petrache Lupu, the man of God”,

• Daniel Guță, “Petrache Lupu and the miracles that rocked Romania”, January 16, 2017,

• Gabi Jugaru, “The Wonder” from Maglavit. The testimonies of Petrache Lupu’s son”, 6 May 2018,

• Dan Dungaciu, “Petrache Lupu, from crazy to saint”, 19 April  2012,

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