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I’m just coming back from the Bulgareevo (a small village cituated nearby Kavarna).
Bylgareevo is a middle size bulgarian village situated near the sea and is not famous with anything significant.
The village has two Orthodox Church temples and a serving Priest (an Archimandrite, father Metodii).
Father Metodii is one of this priests that is a person to remember as he is a truly devoted to Christ monk. Since about two years of time he has reconstructed his local village house and the yard nearby the house into something which hopefully in the short future will become a fully monk inhabited spiritual fortress (A Monastery).
Father Metodii lives and believes part of his service to God constitutes in rising this small monastery and gathering together Bulgarian believers in order to further rise up the Bulgarian faith in Christ and to become a center for spiritual pilgrimage.
The monastery already has a monastery bell, a monks cells and the small chapel (parakles/paraklis) prepared to be as a place for monks pilgrimage.
Father Metodii’s efforts to make the monastery an attractive place for future candidate novice Monks and Monks are truly genuine!
All he has done by so far is a good example for all us the Christians to follow. Most of the expenses related to the Monastery building are being paid by the Father himself as he has donated all his possession to the Church.
As part of this efforts to rise up the place as a place for spiritual pilgrimage by God grace Bylgareevo’s monastery has been granted the honour to contain a particle of the Holy Live giving Cross Tree on which our Lord Jesus Christ has been crucified.. By God’s mercy the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the local national museum has donated two particles of the Holy Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ was Crucified and suffered for our sins.
Now the holy crucifixion cross remains particles are being kept in the Monastery’s small chapel for pilgrimage. Thus the opportunity for a pilgrimage journey to Bylgareevo on this day of great spiritual joy Palm Sunday was a huge blessing for me and the few more brothers and sisters with whom we traveled to Bulgareevo
Below I present you with a picture on which you can see Father Metodii (Methodius) holding in hands the small particle of the Crist’s Crucifixion cross tree (embedded in the center of the wood cross on the picture).
The name of the village Bulgareevo is also really interesting as it’s a direct direvative from the word Bylgariq (which translates as Bulgaria).
Along with the two particles of the Holy life giving Cross where the saviour Jesus Christ was crucified, father Metodii has collected some great saint relics, just to name a few of the relics which are in the newly built monastery in Bulgareevo; holy relics of saint Panteleimon, holy Relics of Saint John of Rila etc.
Now going back to Palm Sunday‘s feast essense, Palm Sunday is among the 12 Church feasts in the Orthodox Churches, we use to call (The Lord’s feasts [Gospodski Praznici]), and thus is one of the 12 feasts which are most spiritually richful for Bulgaria as an Orthodox Nation and for all other national Orthodox Churches around the world.
Palm Sunday is always celebrated on the Last Sunday before the beginning of “the passionate week”, the week in which we who believe in Christ’s name remember the great trials and suffering our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has carried for the salvation of all Christians.
Palm Sundayis the feast in which we as we read in the Gospel readings in the Church, commemorate Christ’s entrance in Jerusalem on a small donkey.
Here is a small chunk of the Gospel reading for the day:
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!"
In this scripture text as we read above the people were glorifying God and Christ as the son of the God in accordance to the Old testament scriptures in which it was prophecised that the Saviour of Mankind (The Messiah) would walk in through the entrance doors of Jerusalem riding a donkey.
People who were present observing the Lord’s entrance were witnessing the fulfilment of the old testament psalms prophecies by glorifying the Lord.
This were the same people which just a week later were screaming “crucify” him …
On Palm Sunday it is a Church tradition in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church that willow branches are being blessed by the priest and then distributed among layman as a blessing and a remembrance of the Palms which were layed upon the Lord’s entrance in Jerusalem.
Later on we took the willow branches in our homes and place it in our home icon-stands (the place with the icons we use for a prayer to God).
The use of willow branches in our Church has been established through the years as a Palm Trees substitute as the Palm tree does not grow in the Bulgarian lands
In Bulgaria Palm Sunday is known as Tsvetnitsa. People with flower-related names, (for example Tzviatko, Margarita, Lilia, Violeta, Yavor, Zdravko, Zjumbjul, Nevena, Temenuzhka, etc.) has a name day on that date.
It’s a pity that many bulgarian people who are baptized in our Bulgarian Orthodox Church, fails to understand the symbolic meaning of the willow branches and doesn’t really understand the essence of the Church feast but just go to Church to light up a candle “to have a good fortune and health”., usually mostly missing the spiritual importance for us the Christians of this feast.. but I hope things would get better with time and more Bulgarians who lost their roots during communism will come back to their ancient faith the Orthodoxy.
I recommend to all Orthodox Christian believers from Bulgaria, Romania and Russia who has the oportunity to visit Bulgaria as a tourist destination or on any other occasion to visit Bylgareevo and do a pilgrimage journey to Bylgareevo newly constructed monastery containing the holy relicts.
You will receive the great spiritual blessing of venerating the particle of the cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ’s most holy body was hanging on!
The cross on which the redemption of mankind was achieved by God’s son 2010 years ago!
The cross on which we have received a forgiveness of our sins!
I thank the Lord for having this good blessed day and I pray that we all who believe in his name come to the understanding to know his as he knows us!