It’s high time to canonize martyrs of communist yoke, says Bulgarian Metropolitan

Lovech, January 25, 2021

A monument to the victims of communism in Sofia. Photo: A monument to the victims of communism in Sofia. Photo:     

It is long past time to consider canonizing the clergy and laity who were martyred under the communist yoke, His Eminence Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church believes.

His Eminence was recently a guest on the Religion Today television program, where he appealed to all museum workers, students of history, and Orthodox Christians who have information on the martyrdom of any clergy and laity who suffered at the hands of the God-fighting communist regime that reigned in Bulgaria from 1946 to 1990, reports Dobrotoliubie.

Met. Gabriel asked that anyone with such information would send it to the Lovech Metropolitanate to help canonize those who gave their lives for Christ.

He also noted that he had been given the obedience by His Holiness Patriarch Maxim (+2012) to canonize the Novo Selo Martyrs, which was accomplished 10 years ago.

The Novo Selo Martyrs were defenseless Bulgarian Orthodox Christians who were slaughtered by the Turks on May 9, 1876, in the Novo Selo Holy Trinity Monastery in the town of Apriltsi in the Lovech Province. They are celebrated annually on May 9 (new style).

In the Russian Orthodox Church, the Sunday closest to January 25/February 7 is the feast of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors who suffered under communism. The Serbian Church celebrates the New Martyrs killed by the Croatian Ustaša and Nazi Germany on August 17/30. The Serbian Martyrs of the Jasenovac concentration camp are also commemorated on August 31/September 13.

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