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Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks Dormition of St. John of Rila

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The Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks today the Dormition of St. John of Rila (Ivan Rilski), patron saint of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian People. St. John of Rila was born around 876 in the village of Skrino located at the foot of the Osogovo Mountain. He was a contemporary of the reign of Knyaz Boris I and his son Vladimir, Tsar Simeon I the Great and his son Tsar Peter I, when Christianity was spreading across Bulgaria. 

At the age of 25, St. John of Rila became a priest at St Demetrius monastery located under Ruen peak. After accepting the life of a monk, he left the monastery in order to continue his life in solitude and prayer. Later he settled in Rila and founded the Rila Monastery. He died in 946 and was buried in the small church in the Rila Monastery. St. John of Rila was canonized around 980.


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