Category Archives: Christian Pilgrimage

Trip to Baylovo Village, Meeting a Living saint and Elin Pelin birth house

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Today thanks to my dear friend Cvetomir, I had the chance to visit Baylovo village with us was also his wife Dimitrina (Dima) and their 3.5 years old Son Boris. Baylovo is very famous nowdays in Bulgaria because of Elder Dobri (Dqdo Dobri) – who is considered by many in Bulgaria a living saint for more about him  see http://saintdobry.com.

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These Elder is said to posses the gift of prophecy and many other gracious gifts from the Lord Jesus Christ. Already for years he has taken on himself the cross of poor life and beggery. The overall appearance of elder is unique as he continues to wears a typical old Bulgarian times dresses which was common among Bulgarians, about 100 years ago.

 

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Dyado Dobry has consciously choose the way of simplicity and poorness to honour God. He can often be seen in Sofia streets begging and then all the collected money he gives for the creation and reparation of old Churches and monasteries.

Seeing the elder gives you faith that there is still hope for us the sinners.

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We had the chance to see the Living saint living room (house) which is few meters from the Baylovo village Church. Elder Dobry lives in a small room with an old wood stove. He has a prayer corner with many icons of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Mother of God and saints.

He doesn’t even possess a bed but sleeps on sheep leather directly on the ground, the picture below is the other room where is living another relative of him who is nowadays taking care about the elder.

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I had the chance to receive his blessing and kiss his holy hand.
The elder advised me to persist in the blessed silence, because silence breaks up the devils and brings us closer to God.

He also advised me to be careful with empty speech (by which I suffer often), few of the other things he told me were also striking.
Hearing my name Georgi he immediately mentioned the Great Holy Spirit that Saint George possesses and how Saint George helps all the earthly people named after him.

Interestingly Dyado Dobry also told me few things which for me was an evidence he posses the gift of clairvyoance (soul seeing).

We also had a chance a little bit earlier to go and Visit Spasova Mogila’s small Chapel which is situated in a very beautiful nature place.

 

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After Spasova Mogila
is named the famous Elin Pelin short  story, for those unfamiliar who Elin Pelin is he is a famous after liberation from Slavery of Bulgaria Bulgaria Author.

 

Later on after leaving Dyado Dobri we went to see the Elin Pelin Museum.

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Museum contains all the major writting works of Elin Pelin with unique pictures with Bulgarian King Boris III, Ivan Vazov and his friends and various intellectuals.

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One of the interesting works of Elin Pelin we saw there was of course Yan-Bybian (Ян Бибиян).

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We also passed on near Elin Pelin’s birth house but unfortunately didn’t have the time to visit, however if we have a second chance to visit there, we will definitely see it too.

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3rd March Bulgarian National Day Feast and a Visit to Bulgarian National History Museum (Sofia) and Boyana Church (Church from 11th century preserved in its original form) few impressions

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I spend the 3rd March feast (Liberation of Bulgaria from 500 years !! Turkish Enslavement) by visiting the Bulgarian National History Museum that is located at the end of Sofia nearby Boyana suburb. Bulgarian National history museum is definitely the most unique museum and the biggest one I’ve visited in my wife. The museum is really huge 3 stages each one big as twice the size of a regular business building stage all filled with prehistoric unique findings connected to all nations that ever inhibited Bulgarian lands. There was a lot of history connected with Thracians, Goths, Geths, Byzantines, Prehistoric Bulgarians, Slavonics, a lot of cult objects to the god-mother and all kind of interesting stuff for anyone interested in antrophology.

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The museum had a unique collection containing a miniatures of dresses of the world from all ages of human development, starting from ancient Egypt and rest of famous ancient civilizations, going through renesesance middle ages and ending up modern and most modern time. The clothes miniatures collection was prepared by a very educated lady and she worked on that unique collection for 20 years of her life, a collossal labour worthy of praise and honour !
The museum contains a prehistoric funerals dating by from 5th century B. C. to 1th century.

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Currently the museum is also hosting the Panagurishte Treasure (A unique gold hand-made treasure dating back among the 3rd – 4th century B.C.! Tracian made craftwork and is probably unseen in a world scale). By visiting this museum you can learn almost all about history of Bulgaria as a nation from our creation in year 631 to current times. There are a lot of unique byzantine stones and columns in Old-Slavonic glagolic and cyrillic letters all around so the museum is a must see for anyone interested in slavonic nations research. Almost a whole stage of the museum contains artefacts connected to early Christianity on Bulgarian lands and all kind of Christian service objects. Just to mention few of the unique things there are Orthodox icons from 3rd century, Church service gospels from 13th – 15h century, priests dress, copies and original of ancient Church books etc.

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The last 3rd stage has an interesting miniature of Antarctica. Very interesting fact about Antarctica is the Bulgarian expedition there has created a small chapel dedicated to the greatest Bulgarian saint, st. John of Rila. On the halls leading to 3rd floor there is a lot of unique Bulgarian national dresses (Nosij). Other thing that impressed me is the museums personal is outstanding (really helpful people). The whole third floor is filled with a lot of unique objects belonging to people from most new time after the liberation of Bulgaria. There were a lot of unique things such as Andrej Lapchev personal Belongings, the Thorne of the last Official Bulgarian King Boris the 3rd, the father of Bulgarian avatiaon (Asen Jordanov), dress of Bulgarian gurilla fighters for freedom, weapons used in wars, belongings to very famous Bulgarian authors and painters etc. On the first floor there is a nice and cheap coffee 1lv per coffee. On the first floor there is plenty of historical books every historian would love and a lot of nice suovenirs to take as a remembrance gifts. I’m proud to be Bulgarian for this wonderful museum. The Building was designed in Communism is also a unique the sideview from the Museum is amazing you see the mountain and green nature. So even going around the museum is an outstanding experience. National History museum is also cheap only 10 lv per person and believe me it worths this money! I recommend the museum to every European as one of the best tourist things to see in Bulgaria.

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After the museum me Svetlana and Stanislav went to see the famous Boyana Church st., st. Nikolay (Nicolas) and st. Panteleimon, this Church is unique because it is among the few Churches from 11-th – 13th  who preserved in their original form.
Church is about 40 minutes walk from the museum and there is a bus, but we choose to walk. Its worthy the walk as there is a lot of green nearby and Boyana is a very green and considered one of the best suburubs to live in Sofia (usually rich people in Sofia live in Boyana). The Boyana Church is unique and part of UNESCO heritage objects in Bulgaria, the Church is from 11-13th century and is one of the oldest ones preserved in its original building .The Church paintings are around the 15h century is a uniquely beautiful to see !! but its costly it costs 10 lv for 10 minutes, so I can’t say its worth the price.

St. Euphemia (III century) martyr who prooved Monophysitism is heresy visit Elder Paisios

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St. Euphemia is a saint whose miracle has clearly proofed which one is true Christianity when there was a argue between Monophysites and Orthodox Christians on 4th Ecumenical Council

Here is the miracle of saint Eupemia by whose testimony (miracle) shown which is the true Christian (Orthodox) doctrine 

“The Miracle of Saint Euphemia the All-Praised: The holy Great Martyr Euphemia (September 16) suffered martyrdom in the city of Chalcedon in the year 304, during the time of the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). One and a half centuries later, at a time when the Christian Church had become victorious within the Roman Empire, God deigned that Euphemia the All-Praised should again be a witness and confessor of the purity of the Orthodox teaching.


In the year 451 in the city of Chalcedon, in the very church where the glorified relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia rested, the sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (July 16) took place. The Council was convened for determining the precise dogmatic formulae of the Orthodox Church concerning the nature of the God-Man Jesus Christ. This was necessary because of the widespread heresy of the Monophysites [“mono-physis” meaning “one nature”], who opposed the Orthodox teaching of the two natures in Jesus Christ, the Divine and the Human natures (in one Divine Person). The Monophysites falsely affirmed that in Christ was only one nature, the Divine [i.e. that Jesus is God but not man, by nature], causing discord and unrest within the Church. At the Council were present 630 representatives from all the local Christian Churches. On the Orthodox side Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople (July 3), Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem (July 2), and representatives of St Leo, Pope of Rome (February 18) participated in the conciliar deliberations. The Monophysites were present in large numbers, headed by Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and the Constantinople archimandrite Eutychius.
After prolonged discussions the two sides could not come to a decisive agreement.
The holy Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople proposed that the Council submit the decision of the Church dispute to the Holy Spirit, through His undoubted bearer St Euphemia the All-Praised, whose wonderworking relics had been discovered during the Council’s discussions. The Orthodox hierarchs and their opponents wrote down their confessions of faith on separate scrolls and sealed them with their seals. They opened the tomb of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia and placed both scrolls upon her bosom. Then, in the presence of the emperor Marcian (450-457), the participants of the Council sealed the tomb, putting on it the imperial seal and setting a guard to watch over it for three days. During these days both sides imposed upon themselves strict fast and made intense prayer. After three days the patriarch and the emperor in the presence of the Council opened the tomb with its relics: the scroll with the Orthodox confession was held by St Euphemia in her right hand, and the scroll of the heretics lay at her feet. St Euphemia, as though alive, raised her hand and gave the scroll to the patriarch. After this miracle many of the hesitant accepted the Orthodox confession, while those remaining obstinant in the heresy were consigned to the Council’s condemnation and excommunication.


Here is the story of holy Euphemia visiting Elder Paisios

One day Father Paisios was going through a very difficult phase. A problem was created in the Church at that time and many bishops had gone to him to ask for his help. However, it was a very complicated problem and even if he wanted to, he was unable to assist; as he said, no matter from which side you look at the problem, you come face to face with a spiritual impasse. So, he decided to turn his efforts to solve the problem with prayer. During that time, Father Paisios constantly prayed for God to give solution to the Church’s problem; he prayed especially to St. Ephemia:”St. Euphemia, you who miraculously solved the serious problem the Church was facing then, take the Church out of the present impasse!”

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One morning, at nine o’ clock, when Father Paisios was reading the service of the third hour, he suddenly heard someone discreetly knocking on his door. The Elder asked from inside:

“Who is it?” Then, he heard a woman’s voice answering:

“It is me, Euphemia, Father.”

“Which Euphemia?” He asked again. There was no answer. There was another knock on the door and he asked again. “Who is it?” The same voice was heard saying:

“It is Euphemia, Father.”

There was a third knock and the Elder felt someone coming inside his cell and walking through the corridor. He went to the door and there he saw St. Euphemia, who had miraculously entered his cell through the locked door and was venerating the icon of the Holy Trinity, which the Elder had placed on the wall of his corridor, on the right hand side of the church’s door. Then the Elder told the Saint: “Say: Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” St. Euphemia clearly repeated those words and immediately Father Paisios knelt and venerated the Saint. Afterwards, they sat and talked for quite a while; he could not specify for how long, as he had lost all sense of time while being with St. Euphemia. She gave the solution for all three matters he had been praying for and in the end he said to her: “I would like you to tell me how you endured your martyrdom.”

The Saint replied: “Father, if I knew back then how eternal life would be and the heavenly beauty the souls enjoy by being next to God, I honestly would have asked for my martyrdom to last for ever, as it was absolutely nothing compared to the gifts of grace of God!”

Towards the end of June, the doctors informed [Elder Paisios] that he had about 2-3 weeks left. On Monday, July 11, on St. Euphemia’s day, Father Paisios received Holy Communion for the last time, kneeling in front of his bed. During the last 24 hours, he was very serene, and even though he suffered, he did not complain at all. He did not wish to take any more medication. The only medicine he accepted was cortisone, because, according to the doctors, it would not prolong his life span, but it would only give him some strength. On Tuesday, July 12, Elder Paisios humbly and peacefully rendered his soul to God, whom he had deeply loved and served since his early childhood.

 

Orthodox Christian Holy Relics of Milan – Saint Ambrose (San Ambrogio) and Early Christian Martyrs Protasius, Gervasius) year 58 – 64 A.D.

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If you have the chance to be in Milan (Milano) Italy and you want to use your holiday or business trip in optimal way and receive an immerse heavenly blessing you should go to Saint Ambrose (San Ambroge) Church in Milano.
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In that Church are preserved to this day the incorruptable Holy Relics of Saint Archibishop Ambrose (Ambrosius) from Mediolan (c. 340 – 4 April 397). Mediolan is the old city name for Milan) as well as found by him through God’s revalation Holy incurruptable relics of very early Christian martyrs Protasius and Gervasius (54-68) Anno Dommini (After Christ).
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Saint Ambrose is one of the most important Theological Teachers and Doctors of the Early Christian church in IV century, he had plenty of writtings on faith and a lot of translations of old greek Church books and most importantly a severe fighter against the early heresy Arianism (true fighter for true faith of Orthodoxy). St. Ambrogio is also the patron saint of Milan. St. Ambrose is famous for his influence on saint Augustine.

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Another must visit pilgrimage site in Milan is the Church of San Lorenzo (Maggiare)Saint Lawrence where is preserved the Holy incorruptable body of Saint Natalia and Adrian of Nicomedia.

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San Lorenzo Church dates as early as the beginning of IV century and is among the most ancient Churches in Milan.
Below is a bit of more info on Saint Protasius, Nazarius, Gervasius and Celsius of Milan.
The Holy Martyrs Protasius, Nazarius, Gervasius and Celsius of Milan suffered during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68).

Saints Protasius and Gervasius were twin brothers from Mediolanum (Milan), the sons of wealthy Roman citizens, Vitalius and Valeria. When they received their inheritance from their parents, they distributed the money to the poor, freed their slaves, and occupied themselves with fasting and prayer. The pagans locked them up in prison because they were Christians. St Nazarius met them when he was visiting Christians in the Mediolanum prison. He so loved the twins that he wanted to suffer and die with them. The ruler heard that he was visiting the prisoners, so he had St Nazarius beaten with rods, then driven from the city.

Sts Nazarius and Celsius went to Milan and visited Gervasius and Protasius in prison. They were brought before Nero, who ordered that Sts Nazarius and Celsius be beheaded. Soon after this the holy brothers Gervasius and Protasius were also executed. The relics of all four martyrs were stolen by a Christian named Philip, and were buried in his house.

Many years later, during the reign of the holy Emperor Theodosius (408-450), St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (December 7), discovered the relics of Sts Gervasius and Protasius through a revelation from God.

In the reign of Arcadius and Honorius, St Ambrose also discovered the relics of Sts Nazarius and Celsius. The holy relics, glorified by many healings, were solemnly transferred to the Milan cathedral.

Trip to Divotino Monastery – Holy Trinity – Divotino Monastery one of the Paradise gardens near Sofia Bulgaria

Most Alive monastery near sofia - trip to divotino monastery

Last Saturday I my wife Svetlana andCvetomir and Dimitrina and their 3 year old boy Boris we went for a small trip to Divotino Monastery – Holy Trinity. This monastery is well know near Sofia by christians because it is one of the monasteries where still one can meet monks with a zeal for spiritual life and a tight monk brotherhood ..

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On our way to the monastery the usual way leading to town of Bankya which is going through a small village was closed so we had to drive to a nearest village. Bankya is famous with its Mineral water – the region is very rich in mineral waters natural springs.

Reaching the monastery, we saw two of the monks to hold a bee hive. The monks greeted us but has to continue doing their planned
work with bees. One of the monks even recognized the kid with us Boris (because 1 year ago – Boris received baptism in this monastery). Later I got a bee bite and now

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Entering the monastery walls one feels like entering heaven for one can feel the abundant grace of God which is dwelling there.
The small garden nearby the Church looks like a heavenly garden.
We had the chance to have a small talk with one of the monks which I later realized is the “right hand of the Abbot”.
Divotino monastery is one of the few ones in Bulgaria that offers isolation from the world as it is situated in a place away from civilization and thus seems to be great place for people who would like to evaluate their life and their life goals or simply find retreat from modern stressful life.

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The Divotino monastery “Holy Trinity” is one of the oldest and best-preserved cloisters in the Sofia region. Originally there was a monastery around ъ. 1046 and then monastery was destroyed in 1386 by Turkish  just to be rebuilt in y. 1875, among local people it is famous unde name “The King Monastery”, because of the frequent visits of Bulgarian King Ferdinand in time of his rulership. in 20th century it was a non monastery. As much of the monasteries in Bulgaria, the monastery had a “cell school”, which at times has accomodated the Grestest Bulgarian revolutionary (liberation) fighter against turkish slavery Vasil Levsky.

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At present, it functions as a monk brotherhood. The monastery lies in the northern slopes of the Lyulin Mountain, about 10km away from the village of Divotino and 4km to the southwest of the Michailovo quarter of the town of Bankya. Divotino Monastery is only 24 km by car from Sofia.
The place is exceptionally picturesque and wild, while the monastery is surrounded by wooded hills and two brooks that cross by its walls.

The area where the pot was found is still known as “The Fortune”. Not much has remained of the old monastery, however, save for small wooden part of the iconostasis and three wall-painted icons. During the plunders of the so-called bands of Kurdzhalii towards the end of 1806, the monastery was not saved and its herds of sheep, cows, horses and buffaloes were stolen. According to a legend, however, the chief of the Kurzhalii, Hassan Hodzha, who led the stolen cattle, was killed by a thunder. His scared men buried him and ran away, leaving behind the plundered animals. The place, where Hassan Hodzha was buried according to the legend is still known as “Hodzha’s Grave”.
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The monastery is popularly known among local people as the Tsar’s Monastery, because of the frequent visits of Tsar Ferdinand there during his rule. It is also told that Tsar Ferdinand donated two carriages to the then-Mother Superior of the Divotino monastery, Claudia. One of the carriages was used for representative purposes, while the other one served for overseeing the vast real estate properties of the monastery. Similarly to many other monasteries, the Divotino cloister also maintained a small monastery school and supported the national struggle for liberation, including by sheltering the famous revolutionary Vasil Levski.

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The Monastery icon has saved Vasil Levski from a bullet.
In Monastery there are two miracle making icons. One is with a hole of a Turkish bullet. The bullet was shot against Levski, when he was hiding from Turkish authorities. The bullet ricocheted and killed the Turkish. The other miraculous icon is of the Most Holy Trinity.

The present-day church and monastery buildings were built in 1902, after the complex had been set on fire for three times in a row during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria. The church was constructed after the Athos architectural style, and represents a small, one-nave, cross-shaped building. The yard of the monastery is not large, but is rather hospitable with its beautiful fountain, several fruit trees, a wooden table with benches ands a shadowed shelter just in front of the church.

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The church’s feast is marked every year on the 50th day after Easter. On that day, the monks throw walnut leaves out of the altar’s gates towards the worshipers, as the leaves remind of the tongues of flame, which embodied the Holy Spirit during his appearance before Christ’s apostles 50 days after Resurrection.

Here is a video to a small documentary about the monastery – http://vbox7.com/play:3cea590f