Saint Alexander of Orosh (Oroshi), Abbey of
SAINT ALEXANDER OF OROSH (OROSHI), ABBEY OF
Or Shën Llezhrii Oroshit, an abbey nullius (see Abbot Nullius) directly under the jurisdiction of the Holy See, situated in the village of Orosh, or Oroshi, 4,690 feet above sea level, among the mountains of Mirditë in the interior of northern Albania. In ancient times it was an abbey of Basilian monks (or, as some assert, of Benedictines) dedicated to St. Alexander the Martyr. After the Turkish occupation of Albania (c. 15th century) the abbey disappeared and its territory was divided between the parishes of Orosh and Saint Nicholas of Spaci as part of the Diocese of Lesh. Because of difficulties of communication the Congregation for the propagation of the faith by a decree of Oct. 5, 1888, detached the abbey nullius from the diocese and joined five parishes to it, adding three more in 1890, and then two from the Diocese of Säpë (decree of July 2, 1906). The ordinary has the title of abbot and is elected from among the Albanian secular clergy. The first bishop was J. Gjonali; the last, Francis Gjini, was killed by the communist regime in Albania in 1947. In 1996, the abbey came under the jurisdiction of the newly created See of Rrëshen.
Bibliography: f. cordignano, "Antichi monasteri benedettini in Albania, nella tradizionee nelle leggende popolari," La civiltà cattolica 80 (1929) 3:26–28, 4:507–515; L'Albania a traverso l'operae gli scritti di un grande missionario italiano, il P. Domenico Pasi (Rome 1933–) v.3. Le missioni cattoliche: Storia, geographia, statistica (Rome 1950) 72–73. Revue Bénédictine (1893) 226.