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We honor the memory of earth angel Saint John of Rila

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On October 19 the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors the translation of the relics of Saint John of Rila to Serdica (present-day Sofia) and his canonization as a saint. John of Rila is knows as wonderworker, because his name is associated with many testimonies of divine healings and true payers. After living for twelve years in a lonely cave, John moved to the wilderness of Rila Mountain where he fasted and prayed to God. Although he lived in a very inaccessible place, people were constantly seeking his support and protection. He passed away on August 18, 946 and was buried in the cave where he spent many years of his life as a hermit. Later, he appeared in the dreams of Bulgarian monks and told them to transfer his relics to Sredts. On July 1, 1469, monks returned his holy relics to the renovated Rila Monastery where people still seek protection of the patron saint.

“We know very little of Saint John of Rila – father Boyan Saraev notes. He lived long time ago at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century in very difficult times both for the people and the country. Corruption among the political circles was great. There were many sects as well. God sent Saint John of Rila in these complicated and difficult times to teach us the truths of the Holy Gospel.”

On 1995, October 19 was declared the official day of Bulgarian doctors and medics.

Compiled by: Darina Grigorova


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