Bulgarien: Bulgarian and Russian hierarchs celebrate St. Seraphim together in Sofia
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church commemorated the memory of St. Seraphim the Wonderworker of Boguchar in the Russian Orthodox dependency Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker on 26 February. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the visiting Russian hierarch His Eminence Metropolitan Tikhon of Vladimir and Suzdal with the concelebration of the Bulgarian hierarch His Grace Bishop Polycarp of Belogradchik and a number of Bulgarian clergymen, reports the press service of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Many parishioners gathered in the church, including the Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria A. A. Makarov. The Liturgy included a prayer for the unity of the Orthodox Church, that it would be preserved from schisms, and a prayer for peace in Ukraine. St. Seraphim’s “memory is alive from generation to generation… Every day we receive the hope, comfort, and joy that fills our hearts from the saint,” said Archimandrite Vassian, the representative of the Russian Patriarch to the Bulgarian Patriarch, reports the press service of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
A moleben was then prayed at St. Seraphim’s relics in the crypt of the St. Nicholas Church. The faithful were anointed with oil from his holy relics from throughout the day. The Russian delegation had also visited His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria and the great St. John of Rila Monastery, where they venerated the relics of St. John.
St. Seraphim (Sobolev; 1881-1950) of Boguchar was a hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. On February 14, 1920, together with commandant of Sevastopol General Nikolai Stogov, Archbishop Seraphim emigrated from the Crimea to Constantinople. In the spring of 1921 he moved to Bulgaria, where he remained to the end of his days and is known as an ardent defender of the purity of the Orthodox faith and a wonderworker. Before his death, he said to his spiritual children, “If I find boldness before the Lord, I will not leave you.” The night after his burial, he appeared in a dream to one of his spiritual sons, a monk, and said, “Why are you weeping? I have not died, I am alive!”
The joint commission of the Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches for the canonization of Archbishop Seraphim was set up in accordance with the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church of October 22, 2015, and of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church of September 25, 2015.
St. Seraphim was canonized by unanimous decision of the Holy Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church on February 3, 2016. A delegation from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church also participated in the session. The main celebration of canonization then took place on February 26 in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Sofia, celebrated by His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria, with Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the Russian Church concelebrating. (Quelle: www.orthochristian.com, 28. Februar 2019)