SOFIA, BULGARIA: December 2, 2011
The Sofia, Bulgaria, Podvorie of the Russian Orthodox Church Prayerfully Commemorates Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev)
On December 1, 2011, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, a commemorative Liturgy for Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bochugarsk was celebrated at St Nicholas Church (a podvorie, or metochion, of the Moscow Patriarchate) in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The service was led by His Eminence Archbishop Aleksii of Kostroma and Galich. He was joined by Hegumen Philipp (Vasiltsev), Podvorie Rector;Archimandrite Feoktist (Dimitrov), representative of the Bulgarian Patriarchate in Moscow, and clergymen of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchal Podvorie.
In his sermon at the end of the service, Archbishop Aleksii spoke about the spiritual significance of Archbishop Seraphim’s podvig and the importance of revering him in prayer. He also noted the connection of Vladyka Seraphim to the land of Kostroma, as reported by the official website of the Patriarchal Podvorie in Sofia.
In his response, Hegumen Philipp thanked Vladyka Aleksii for his archpastoral prayers and words of edification. Fr Philip emphasized the uniqueness of the personality of Vladyka Seraphim, the effectiveness of his pastoral and spiritual experience, noting his widespread veneration among Bulgarian Orthodox Christians.
Afterwards, Vladyka Aleksii awarded a benefactor of the podvorie, Mr ON Melik-Pashaev, the 3rd Order of Prince Daniel of Moscow.
A litiya was then served at the crypt of Vladyka Seraphim.
Later that day, Mr Yu.N. Isakov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Bulgaria, hosted a luncheon in honor of the official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church.
December 1, 2011, marked the 130 anniversary of the birth of the renowned podvizhnik Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bochugarsk. This archpastor was particularly renowned as an apologist of the Orthodox faith and the author of a series of theological works which remain relevant today.
The bulk of Archbishop Seraphim’s service (from 1921 to 1950) was spent in Bulgaria, where the hierarch headed Russian parishes. He was revered even during his life for his righteous life. Archbishop Seraphim departed in the lord in March 1950 and was buried in a crypt at St Nicholas Church in Sofia.