Bailovo, February 16, 2018
His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria, dozens of priests, and hundreds of laymen gathered in the village of Bailovo yesterday to bid farewell to Elder Dobri Dobrev, affectionately known as “Grandpa Dobri” and “the Saint of Bailovo,” at his funeral and burial at the Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, reports nova.bg.
The beloved man of charity, who spent his days collecting money towards the restoration of monasteries and churches throughout Bulgaria, was buried in the church yard next to the tiny building where he had been living since 2000 after he donated all of his belongings to the Orthodox Church.
Elder Dobri, known throughout the entire world, reposed on Tuesday.
As Pat. Neofit stated, “Examples such as the Saint of Bailovo, as people call him, give us hope that there are still strong people in Bulgaria.”
“The people called him ‘the Saint of Bailovo’ not only because of his selfless service and donations, but also because of his pure confession and living of our ancient Bulgarian Orthodox faith,” the patriarch also reflected. “His faithfulness to the Church and her commandments was a righteousness of righteousness, and the memory of the just is blessed (Prov. 10:7).”
Referring to the Lord’s words that the pure in heart will see God, His Holiness added, “That’s why we believe Christ will accept him as a true unmercenary, who for the past 30 years has donated everything he owned and collected in front of the churches of our country. We remember him as the greatest donor to our St. Alexander Nevsky patriarchal cathedral, as well as to several other churches and monasteries.”
“Let his memory not bring us sorrow and sadness, but joy and hope that holiness and goodwill have not disappeared from Bulgaria, and that God, through the prayers of the holy Theotokos and all the saints will grant us gifts of grace as well in the future,” the patriarch concluded.