samostan svete margarite pag

The construction of Pag’s Benedictine Convent of St. Margaret began right after the new town of Pag was established, as a memorial to the former church and convent in the Old Town. The Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built right next to the convent in 1483. Pag’s noble Mišolić family entrusted construction of the Chapel of Saint Nicholas (later: Our Lady of Mercy) to master-builder Juraj Dalmatinac (Giorgio de Sebenico), who later entrusted his apprentice Radmilo Alegreti with the task. Following the reconstruction of the church, the chapel was thoroughly renovated and its initial design was restored. It is therefore the most valuable architectural monument of the Gothic-Renaissance style in Pag.
The convent of Benedictine sisters was renowned as a noble convent, because the nuns mostly came from noble families. Since the 16th century, along with prayers, the nuns taught lacemaking and literacy to girls, and later on established a girls’ primary school with qualified teachers, where lacemaking was a special subject.
In 1875, Emperor Franz Joseph visited the convent and the Benedictine school in Pag. In the early 20th century, the Benedictine nuns were further honoured by a visit from the imperial mother, Maria Josepha. During World War II, the convent and its soup kitchen were supported by the Croatian Caritas and Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac, feeding children and the poor. During the Homeland War, the nuns maintained contacts with the Italian and French Caritas and numerous friends of the Monastery throughout the world, thus aiding the distraught populace, displaced persons and refugees.
The nuns keep the Reliquary of Holy Thorn, containing a relic of the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus, brought from the Holy Land by Fr. Tutnić in 1433, as recorded in a public document in Pag’s Register of Charters. The most beautiful among Pag’s reliquaries was made by a goldsmith’s workshop in Zadar.
The Benedictine order is strictly enclosed and its nuns leave the monastery only in special cases, with permission from their superior. The Benedictine nuns of Pag received an award from Zadar County in 2008 for the development of spiritual culture of the town of Pag, while the renowned prior M. Rozaria Gligora was given the lifetime achievement award in the field of culture.