10th anniversary of Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria

Sofia, February 27, 2023

Photo: bg-patriarshia.bg Photo: bg-patriarshia.bg     

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrated the 10th anniversary of the election and enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Neofit on Friday, February 24.

The occasion was marked with the Divine Liturgy in the St. Nedelya Metropolitan Cathedral in Sofia, led by His Grace Bishop Polycarp of Belogradchik, vicar of the Metropolis of Sofia. A particle of the relics of St. Neofit were placed in the center of the church for the veneration of the faithful, the Bulgarian Church reports.

Photo: bg-patriarshia.bg Photo: bg-patriarshia.bg     

He was joined by the representatives of the Russian and Romanian Churches in Bulgaria and local and visiting Bulgarian clergy.

Following the Liturgy, the clergy prayed or the health and well-being of the primate of the Bulgarian Church. Bp. Polycarp reflected:

We remember the joy with which the people welcomed the news of the election of His Holiness Patriarch Neofit. Joy and comfort that still stands today. We pray that God will grant him good health, strength, and courage; as until now, so in the future with his paternal love and condescension, chastity, with his trust in God to lead the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the entrusted God-given Diocese of Sofia. May this anniversary be happy and blessed for all of us, both in joy and in peace, so that as one big Orthodox family we, like him, might set a good example for those who are with us. In this stormy world, we need unity and good examples to follow.

Photo: bg-patriarshia.bg Photo: bg-patriarshia.bg     

The same day, a moleben of thanksgiving was celebrated in the Metropolitan Chapel of St. Marina. The thanksgiving prayers were led by His Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Veliko Tarnovo, together with nine other hierarchs of the Bulgarian Church.

Met. Gregory addressed the primate:

With brotherly love in Jesus Christ and deep reverence, we turn to you always, and especially today, marking the 10th anniversary of your election and enthronement as the first hierarch of our holy Church. We are grateful that in your person God has given us a good archpastor and we thank you for all the efforts you make in the difficult Patriarchal ministry, with which you worthily adorn your entire long path as a monk and as a bishop. But most of all, we thank you for your unfailing godlike love for all of us and the whole Church, for the wisdom and the long-suffering with which you confidently guide the ship of our Orthodox Church through the elements of this world.

At the end of the moleben, Many Years was sung for Pat. Neofit, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Church, and all the Bulgarian people.

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