Bulgaria: children’s cancer rehabilitation center consecrated in honor of St. Stylianos, patron of children

Opitsvet, Sofia Province, Bulgaria, October 19, 2022

Photo: mitropolia-sofia.org Photo: mitropolia-sofia.org     

A festive celebration was held this weekend at the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s rehabilitation center for children with blood cancer in the Sofia suburb of Opitsvet.

Two years after the initial opening of the center, it was “baptized” in honor of St. Stylianos of Paphlagonia, the patron saint of children, by His Grace Bishop Polycarp of Belogradchik, vicar of His Holiness Patriarch Neofit, reports the Metropolis of Sofia.

Bp. Polycarp laid and consecrated the foundation for the center in 2018. A chapel dedicated to St. Stylianos was built at the center, and on February 15, 2020, a particle of the saint’s relics was donated for the blessing and spiritual comfort of the children, parents, and employees.

Photo: mitropolia-sofia.org Photo: mitropolia-sofia.org     

Together with local clergy, Bp. Polycarp served a moleben with the blessing of water and blessed the entire center, naming it in honor of St. Stylianos. The bishop was also appointed the Godfather for the center, which he received as a great honor and responsibility.

The celebration continued with a common meal, a service in the Chapel of St. Stylianos, and the consecration of a wall painting of the center’s patron saint. The day ended with a children’s singing and dancing program.

Two years ago, Bp. Polycarp opened Bulgaria’s first spiritual center for social rehabilitation and the integration of children. He opened another, in honor of St. John of Rila, last May.

Romanian hierarchs also laid the foundation stone for a new children’s palliative care center in Cluj last week.

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