Last year by Holy Virgin Mery Theotokos I was able to visit probably the second by holiness place in the world – Holy Athos. Agios Oros as called in greek is an island in the deep of Greece inhabited only by male monks. In fact there is a prophecy that if woman start visiting the place by God's desire the place will sunk. Holy Mount Athos is alsothe biggest orthodox monks community nowdays existing on the planet. Athos is inhabited by more than 1600 monks all from different orthodox nations. Some of the Orthodox Monasteries present by nationalities are:
– Ours Bulgarian Monastery (Saint Martyr George the Glory Bringer) – Serbian – Russian – Greek
Probably there are more but this is ruffly the main ones I can remember There are also Ukrainian and monks belonging to the other orthodox Churches. There are a lot of monks on Agios Oros that still are living a type of life as hermits. Even probably there are secret people who live completely as hermits. As the times are changing quickly and the earth is going to destruction the existence of such a big place inhabited by monks to pray Christ for us is truly a great God mercy to us. If you're interested in Agios Oros and you're orthodox Christian and want to visit it for pilgrimage pray to The Holy Theotokos and if it is God will you will be permitted to go.
In this dark days of humanity, we can rarely find persons who live in a holy way like the saints from the Holy Bible or the Books of the Living of the Saints
Saintship has been slowly disappearing from earth just like it's prophecised by Christ our Saviour and the Holy Apostles and in later times by many monks, Church hierarchs, patriarchs and hermits.
In Bulgaria as in most parts of the Orthodox world the Christian faith apostacy is also clearly seen. We can no longer see saint hermits like our patron saint of Bulgaria Saint John of Rila
Even in this dark days God still shows mercy to us and still present us some of his saints. The topic of this article as you have already red in the title is Elder Dobri of the Baylovo village
Elder Dobri of Baylova has been a regular person like all of us with a family and children just until 12 years ago. About 12 years ago the I would call him The Living saint has decided to let all the earthly passions and sorrows for Christ and his eternal salvation. He despised the earthly goodness and become a beggar, all the collected money he got were distributed among other poor people or donated to Churches and monasteries belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Day by day and a coin by coin, he has collected thousands of levs (the bulgaria national currency). The gathered money were given to support the live of monasteries and Churches, by this very date. This old man is the greatest donator for the Cathedral Church St. Alexsander Nevski (situated at the heart of Bulgaria's capital Sofia)
His words spoken just like the saints are full of grace and goodness. One of his famous sayings are:
Man has Always two wills in himself in every moment of his life, the will to do good and the will to do evil As all the truths his sayings are simple but represent the ultimate truth which was also said in many other forms in The Holy Bible Gospels and God's law.
The external outlook of Dqdo Dobri is also saintly, he has long beard a shining eyes and a national folklore dress. He looks like he has been out of some old Bulgarian tale.
It's very striking fact that he that this old man is the biggest donator for our Cathedral Temple, we have many millionaires and businessman in Bulgaria but nobody has decided to donate to our Church such a high sum of money.
Elder Dobri's donation for the St. Alexander Nevski's Church is in value 35700 levs (around 19000 euros). Dqdo Dobri is a beggar for Christ, this is one of the major types of saintship we read about in the living of the saints. All the collected money from people are given for God's Glory. It's amazing heroism and an example, all we the Christians should follow to fulfill Christ's law of love and inherit the internal salvation. A friend of mine who has the blessing to see Elder Dobri with her own eyes and have a small talk with him, has shared with me that even though he wears an old ragged clothes, his clothes and body emit a roses like odor!
As the fame about the same has grown these days, the Bulgarian National television has prepared a small video about the saint. I believe the video as a true blessing for us the Christians and will encourage us to persist in the good deads. Here I present you the videos you can see the living saint, I hope by his holy prayers God will show mercy to all us who watch his graceful words:
The Living Christian Saint from Baylovo Village – Bulgaria
Elder Dobri from Baylovo – Bulgaria
Inteview with Elder Dobri in his house in Baylovo (the interview is in Bulgarian)
Father Atanas Arolski A Notable Priest and Spiritual Father Elder of Bulgarian Lands and Bulgarian Orthodox Church passed away to Christ aged 95. fr. Atanas was born in a small Bulgarian mountain village Hvoyna located in Middle Rodopis Mountain. The priest is famous because he was among the few priests of our faithless times that walked by Rodopi Muntain villages all their life to preach the Gospel of Christ. 70 years of his earthly life was dedicated to God's word and priesty service.
Fr. Atanas Arolski is born (by God's providence) on 1st of November on the day of Bulgarian Christian enlightener saints St. St. Kiril and Methodius who preached the Holy Gospel Good news of Salvation on Bulgarian lands in the 9th century. And just like the two Thesaloniki brother saints Cyril and Methodius fr. Atanas was enlightener of the Bulgarian nation during all his life. fr. Atanas completed his church studies succesfully in the Seminary of Cherepish "St. John of Rila"in year 1939. Though a lot of the Seminary students choose to become deacons in the Church to escape the mobilization and army service in Second Wolrd War the fr. decided not to cheat and went for a military service. He was ordained priest in 1943. During the last years of his life even when 90+ years old he walked to Malevo village (3km away) from his village and Orehovo village (7km! away from Hvoyna).
Its interesting that the father walks to the 3 village Churches where he was assigned to be serving Holy Liturgy and do his many Church duties daiy even though he has a driving license since 1961, however he alone says until this very date he failed to find money to buy a car (because of his humbleness) in order to hide the spiritual reason behind that. The most notable father saying is "Man alone Opens or Closes the Door to Heaven" and his life is an example on how one can open the door to heaven and open when the Lord Jesus Christ knocks on the door of our heart.
This priest was torutred severely by the Atheist authorities during the Communist rule in Bulgaria in their attempt to convert him to atheism but fr. Atanas stand firm being a true confessor of Christ as he explains in the short video below, on many times they bring him in police and he was beaten badly with the purpose to show them there is no God and convince them to decline his faith in Christ and the Church but he refused. Many times to make him stop going to Church and serving Holy Liturgy the authorities threatened him that he will be sent as a political Prisoner to Belene and he was imprison for a time and beaten to death but with God's help he survived.
fr. Atanas alone used to say that God left him to survive until the fall of Communism in Bulgaria in order to show those who mocked him and tortured him that their regime prooved false demising (nowdays even hated by most of Bulgarian) but God's Church triumpths victoriously even though the severe trials and persecutions standing according to Christ's word that promised us that the Gates of Hell will not get over his Church.
Below is a nice 15 minutes video made earlier by one of our Bulgarian Televisions (BTV) about this unique confessor priest. The Holy Scriptures says "Great are the miracles of God in his holies" and movie prooves the Bible verse another time.
One True Story of Rodopi Mountains – A movie about fr. Atanas Arolsky
Ft. Atanas Arolsky the Christian Englightener 91 continues to serve to God God forgive and remember fr. Atanas in his Eternal Kingdom and let the father pray the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on us the sinners. Amen.
Last Friday together with my best friend Mitko together with an old-school good friend Samuel and another friend Geоrgi travelled to Pomorie Monastery. The reasons to go there was to have a short pilgrimage journey and to baptize Samuil who had the good desire to receive Baptism. As always it is a God's blessing to spend time in monastery and this was time it was not different. We started the trip from Sofia to Pomorie in about 08:15 and with a few little breaks we reached theMonastery about 12:30. Before we start journey I call Pomorie Monastery's abbot father Ierotey to ask if he will bless our pilgrimage (for those who never was in monastery's everything happens wtih a blessing and it is best before a monastic trip to ask a blessing). Once arrived the novice monk Milen met us and accomodated us in two of the monastic rooms.
On next day, there was the standard morning prayer service and the bells rung to wake us up, after the service we had a small talk with father Sergiy, met some of the brothers and with abbots blessing together with father Sergiy, we went for a few hours pilgrimage journey to Nessebar.
Nessebar (the town ancient name is Mesambria) is an ancient city situated 16 km from Pomorie (known in ancient times as Anchialo / Anchialo). Both Pomorie and Nesebar was a great historical Christian sites from very ancient times, a cities where first civilization started before Christ. Here according to excavation Christianity started somewhere in the early II-nd century and undergoes а bloom until the XI, XIII century. Here in those places according to some historic datas used to even have an archibiship seat. It is less known fact that Nessebar is one of the most ancient cities in all Europe and started its existence about 3200 years B.C.! In ancient times before Christianity Mesambria used to be inhabited with Thracians. On the road to Nesebar we passed through Aheloy (Achelous) – a town where occured the Battle of Achelous (y. 917) which is the biggest battle in medieval European history (120 000 troops participated in battle).
Nesebar is a significant historical city and thus part of UNESCO's world heritage world site. It is divided in new and old city, whether new city's doesn't shiny with architecture, the old town architecture is preserved and absolutely unique. The fact that Nessebar used to be a important Christian center is still evident as even though the town area is situated in peninsula (consisting of only 850 meters width and 350 meters hight), it has 12 Churches !
Nessebar Church of Christ Pantokrator
Some of the ancient Churches in nessebar are dated from around VI to VIII century. Many of the Churches are in a style specific for Bulgarian empire build in analogy with the Tarnovo capital of Bulgaria at that time architecture, such architecture is very common for Bulgaria and Byzantine empire in the XIII and XVI centuries. Churches dated from the XIII c. is St. Parascheva, (XIII c.) St. Theodor (XIV c.), St. Archangel Michael and Gabriel (XVI). По това време са построени църквите “Св. Параскева (XIII в), “Св. Теодор” (XIV в), “Св. Архангели Михаил и Гавраил” (XIV в), имащи преки аналогии в столичната търновска архитектура.
Unfortunately though there are many Churches in Nessebar, many of them are just historical monuments nowadays and others are turned into Painting Galleries. In all ancient city only 1 Orthoox Church – The Dormition of Virgin Mary is functional with regular Holy Liturgies served. The Church has a miracle making of the Theotokos. Many people have found relief and cure or fast help from God after praying in front of the miraculous icon.
Nessebar Miracle Making Icon of Holy Theotokos
To give thanks to Mother Mary many people who received cure or whose prayers came true by praying in front of the miraculous icon deliberately left their gold earings, necklaces and even war medals. In the Church there are holy relics of number of Christian saints – saint Cyprian and Justina, saint Tatyiana, st. mrtr. Marina, st. Vlasij, st. Macarious …
Father Sergij walk us through the city telling a bit of history of each of the Churhes one of the Basilicas was much bigger the rest and fr. Sergius explained that this used to be a Church where a Metropolitan or a Bishop was serving.
We learned that in Nessebar was a very desired king region a place, a highly spiritual place with an overall of 40 Churches! On the entrance of old nessebar there are remains of the old city fortress walls, the whole city houses and architecture is renessance with a lot of wooden houses.
Nessebar city entry fortress remains
Wooden Houses in Nesebar
Besides the beautiful Churches the sea side is breath taking and from sea shore you can in the distance another resort city Sunny Beach.
Nessebar winter sea coast view
In Nesebar there are plenty of souvenir shops, caffeterias, small ethnographic styled restaurants assuring a great time for every touries.Very neart to Nessebar is situated also a beautiful rest resort village Ravda. About 13:00 we left Nessebar and headed back to Pomorie with fr. Sergij who told us a what of Christian faith stories rich in wisdom. On next day Sunday after the end of Holy Liturgy the Abbot of Pomorie Monastery (fr. Ierotey) baptized Samuel and we had a lunch together with the brotherhood.In early afternoon we headed back to Sofia. As always father archimandrit Ierotey and fr. Sergius presented us with Christian literature as a gift and a CDs with faith related movies.
Christ has born! Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all my readers!
The meaning of Merry Christmas comes from Christ Mass , the word has changed to (Christmas) through the years. The origins of the word comes from the western world and especially has a tight relatin with Latin language and the Roman Catholic Church.
In Eastern Orthodox Churches, we say Chestit Rojdestvo Hristovo , which translated to English is Happy Christ's Birth by this tring to put more accent on the real significance of the feast, which is Christ's birth. It's a pity nowdays many people forgot the real meaning of Merry Christmas but just celebrate without really realizing the deep spiritual meaning this two beautiful words contain. Our Bulgarian Orthodox Church will mark the Christ's birth with a Holy Liturgy early in Sunday's morning tomorrow 25th of December.
With these bright feast I wish to all my blog readers; A lot of Best of Health, Good Fortune, Loving Kindness, Hope, Faith, Love and Personal and Professional Success! May God bring in our hearts the Angels joy which saluted our Saviour Jesus Christ's birth 2011 years ago.
Reading Time: < 1minute Dear reader, I thought it’s a nice idea to link that nice video It’s compiled by some Orthodox Brother with God’s mercy. The scale of Orthodox Christianity is really amazing. Almost 600 000+ people around the world are orthodox christians. As Orthodoxy claims to be a direct descendant of original christianity, faith and traditions. Well Enough talk, Enjoy the wonderful video!
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