Head of our Bulgarian Orthodox Church, his all holiness Patriach Maxim passed away to Christ early this morning 06 November 2012 around 03:30 Ð°.m.
Our beloved patriarch headed the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in truth for the immersely high 41 years! Patarirch Max was the oldest among all Orthoodox Christian patriarchs. Just 8 days earlier, we have celebrated in the Church his 98 birthday.
People who know the patriarch personally, said from his youth even even to his old years he used to be "The same humble person".
Our patriarch birthname "in the world" was Marin Naydenov Minkov and Pena Bordjukova. The patriarch was born from a father Nayden Minkov Rachev. Almost none is known about how the future Bulgarian Church patriarch who headed the Church ( 1971 – 2012 ) lived in his young years, similarly little is known about his family (parents) background, all we know is his parents was very pious people.
His Holiness Patriarch Maxim was born in Oreshak a little village near the city of Lovech, Bulgaria. His education was given in his native birth place – the mountain village of Oreshak.
In year 1935 His Holiness completed Sofia's Spiritual Seminary School ( Sofiiska Duhovna Seminaria ). In 1942 his holiness completed a Theological Degree in Sofia State University – saint Clement of Ohrid ( Saint Kliment Ohridski ).
Patriarch Maxim (become monk) in his early years in 27 years old, after the usual period for testing novice monks (2 to 5 years) in Trojan's Monastery (Troianski Manastir), this means his holiness become novice monk in the very young age of 21 or 22 years. He was ordained to monk receiving the monk name of Maxim on 13 of December 1941 under the Church degree of Hierodeacon.
A small note to make here for those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy is in Orthodox Church it is accepted that once a person is ordained to be a Monk or Priest (part of white or black brotherhood), he is usually given a name of a Church saint.
His holiness was given the monk name of Maxim after one of the greatest Christian saints of all times Maxim the Confessor . Saint Maxim (The Confessor) was martyred for Christ in nowadays Bulgaria lands.
After a while, he was for a short time he served as a Hierodeacon to Lovchanski's Metropolitan (Metropolit of Lovech) and in year 1942, his holiness was assigned as a Theology Teacher in Sofia's Spiritual seminary ( Sofiiska Duhovna Seminaria ), he served as a Christian Theology teacher for about 5 years from y. 1942 to 1947.
In 14 May 1944 from HieroDeacon he was consecrated to be Hieromonk, 3 years later in 1947, he was raised to Archimandrite and assigned as Protosingel of Dorostolsko – Chervenska Eparchy ( Dorstol's Eparchy ) by Mitrpolitan Mihail (Michael).
By decision of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Holy Synod, Archimandrite Maxim was send to serve as a rector for Bulgarian Christian community in Moscow, his ministry in Moscow lasted almost 6 years from 1950 to 1955.
Archibishop Maxim came back to Bulgaria in 1955 and was assigned as a Head Secretary for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Holy Synod. As a primary secretary of Bulgarian Church Holy Synod he served in year 1955 to 1960. Along with his duties are primary secretary of Holy Synod in 1957 to 1960, he was serving as a Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Synodal periodical spiritual literature print.
In 30 December 1956, he was hierotonize ( ordained ) as Bishop Branitskogo (Branitski) – this happened after proposed by his all holiness patriarch Cyril and decided on one of the regular Holy Synod of Bulgarian Orthodox Church meetings.
30 of October his holiness was assigned to serve as Metropolitan Lovchanski ( Metropolit of Lovchanski Church region ).
After the passing to Christ of our previous Bulgarian Church patriarch, his holiness patriarch Cyril (Kirilos), in the following in the Patriarchate Church (national) assembly of BOC (Bulgarian Orthodox Church) 4 -8 July 1971 in Sofia, Metropolitan Lovchanski Maxim was canonically chosen to be vicar of the BOC Holy Synod.
His entronization as new patriarch took place on 4 July 1971 in Alexander-Nevski's ( Bulgarian Holy Synod ) council. Patriarch Maxim became the 21-st ( Primate ) Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox.
According to Bulgarian Church internal law, the patriarch of Bulgaria is also a Metropolitan of Sofia.
Little after he was chosen the Patriarch of all Russia at that time Pimen, in his speech spoke of the recently chosen Bulgarian patriarch as a prominent hierarch with many virtues.
In November y. 1974 the Assembly of Sofia's Spiritual Academy awarded His All holiness Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria for his great theological contributions Phd scientific rank ( honoris causa ).
To celebrate his 60th anniversary BOC Synodal Publishing of Sofia issued a collection of his works entitled "In the field of the Lord" (Sofia publishing 1975). The book includes words, speeches and articles of Patriarch Maxim for period 1950 – 1974.
In 1974, the Council of the Sofia Theological Academy awarded Patriarch Maxim for his theological writings a degree of Doctor of Theology honoris causa. 60th Anniversary of Patriarch Maxim Synodal Publishing in Sofia issued a collection of the works of his work "In the field of the Lord" (Sofia, 1975). The book includes the words, speeches and articles for 1950-1974 Patriarch Maxim's.
Last year the newly chosen Patriarch of all Russia, Cyril met our Patriarch Maxim.
Over the last years the patriarch has suffered severely with Diabetes and had a health complications, "being powerful in his infirmities", just like Holy apostle saint Paul. Patriarch Maxim leaded the Bulgarian Orthodox church wisely preventing the Church from complete disintegration and managing to keep the Church existent even though the severe attempts of Communist authorities to destroy the Church. His long given rulership over the Church is something very rare in whole Church history since Christ and in my view can be considered indicator that his holiness patriarch Maxim was pleasing to God in his service.
The funeral of Patriarch is to be served in Troyanski Manastir (Trojan Monastery), in the Church Dormition of the Holy Theotokos behind miracle making icon of the Virgin Mary on Friday 9th of November 2012. By God's providence and the Holy Synod of BOC decision, his body will be laid in the same monastery, where he was ordained as monk. The funeral preparations will be made by the Abbot of Troyanski Monastery Branitski / Bishop Grigorius (Grigorij).
The Bulgarian Government announced Friday to be a day of sorrow in memoriam of patriarch Maxim. Along in the whole Bulgarian country Churches Za Upokojna slubja (A service prayer for the newly introduced patriarch in the Lord ) were served yesterday and will be continuously served in the next 3 days.
Now what is left is we pray for our patriarch's soul and by patriarch Maxim's prayers the Lord Jesus Christ to bless our Bulgarian Orthodox Church with another good and wise patriarch.