top of page

Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte has passed away

Patriarch Neophyte, the Head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, has passed away at the age of 78. The Patriarch died at 22:22 on March 13 in the Military Medical Academy hospital of multiorgan failure after battling a long illness.

The news was announced minutes before 11 pm on March 13 by Metropolitan Anthony, and at 11.30 pm the Holy Synod officially confirmed the death of His Holiness.

"We call upon the Orthodox Christians to address their sincere prayer, together with the Holy Orthodox Church, to Almighty God to rest the soul of our dear Patriarch in the kingdom of God,” the statement of the Holy Synod says.

Today, the Holy Synod is meeting in an extraordinary sitting to decide its next steps, the Synod's Secretary General Bishop Gerasim told the media. According to the canon, the bishops must elect a deputy to lead the meetings, after which a new patriarch must be elected within four months.

The Council of Ministers said that the day of mourning in memory of the Patriarch coincides with the day of the lying in state - the Holy Synod is yet to announce when it will be.

The last official information from the Holy Synod about the Patriarch's condition was released on January 21, and a week later, Metropolitan Anthony of Western and Central Europe announced on BNT that His Holiness' condition had improved.

In September last year, Patriarch Neophyte was hospitalized again, because of an exacerbation of a chronic illness.

The holy name of Patriarch Neophyte is Simeon Nikolov Dimitrov.

He was born on 15 October 1945 in Sofia. After completing his primary education, he was admitted as a student at the Sofia Theological Seminary at Cherepis station. In 1971 he graduated from the Sofia Theological Academy of St. Clement of Ohrid, and later trained in church singing at the Moscow Theological Academy..

He was tonsured with the name Neophyte by the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim in the Holy Monastery of Troyan in 1975.

On 24 February 2013 during the Patriarchal electoral council in Sofia Neophyte was elected Bulgarian Patriarch and Sofia metropolitan bishop.

The inauguration of His Holiness Neophyte as Patriarch of Bulgaria was carried out on the same day as his election (24 February 2013) in the afternoon at the St. Alexander Nevsky cathedral.


Top Stories

bottom of page